Global Fund Communications Director Steps DownPublished on 13 February 2012 @ 5:42 pm
By William New, Intellectual Property Watch
Changes continue at the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as the director of communications announced today that he is stepping down immediately after nearly a decade.
Jon Lidén sent an email around the Fund announcing his departure today and stating:
“The Global Fund is undergoing some much needed changes. One of these changes is linked to the style and priorities of our communications. Our General Manager, Gabriel, and I have agreed that for the new direction the communications work should be taking, the organization is best served by finding a new person to lead this work.”
This refers to Gabriel Jaramillo, the new Global Fund general manager who took over at the time it was announced that Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine would depart in mid-March (IPW, Public Health, 25 January 2012). The Fund experienced a significant shortfall in funding in the past year, and the departure of Kazatchkine sparked rumours that the United States was behind the change.
Andrew Hurst, head of the Fund’s media team, will take over as acting director of communications, according to Christoph Benn, director of the External Relations and Partnerships Cluster.
Lidén said he has led the Global Fund communications efforts “for nine immensely rich years and I am deeply grateful that I have been able to play a part in building this institution.”
“I truly believe that the Global Fund is the boldest, smartest, warmest, and most humanistic global development institution ever created and I believe that it represents the future,” he said. “If global solidarity shall survive in this harsh century, it will have to embrace the spirit of collaboration between all groups of society the way the people who designed the Global Fund did. During its first ten years, the Global Fund managed to bring the faces and life-stories of individual women, men and children – and the urgency of saving their lives – into the rooms where decisions about billions of dollars are being taken. And the decisions are better because of it.”
He ended with a sort of warning: “I wish all of you the best of luck in continuing to build the Global Fund in the coming years. I hope that, while doing so, you will protect the soul and heart of this organization so it does not only get more efficient, but also continue to be an institution truly owned by and serving those who need its assistance the most.”
Benn sent an email around as well, with the explanation that: “Today our communications director Jon Liden has decided to leave the Global Fund. He did this in agreement with our General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo recognizing that in light of the organizational implications of the transformation required for our organization it would be better to pass on the responsibility for communications to somebody else.”
He thanked Lidén who said he had “served the organization since its creation.”
Lidén “worked closely with then Director General of WHO Gro Harlem Brundtland who played a critical role in all discussions on the structure and scope of the newly established Global Fund,” Benn said.
“Jon joined as a staff member in 2003 and has been responsible for communications ever since,” Benn added. “The role he has played in the growth and evolution of this organization has gone significantly beyond communications. He provided exceptional leadership, professionalism, enormous creativity and – most of all – unwavering commitment to the cause for which the Global Fund stands.”
William New may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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