MSF Medicines Access Campaign Director Departs; New Director Named

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Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) announced today that it has named a new executive director of its Access to Medicines Campaign, a high-impact advocacy initiative on international public health issues in Geneva and elsewhere. Today was the last day for current Executive Director Tido von Schoen-Angerer, who completed two three-year terms in the role.

New Executive Director Manica Balasegaram, the current head of the Leishmaniasis Clinical Program for Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), will take up the post from mid-August, according to an MSF release.

Balasegaram brings extensive experience in tropical medicine including malaria, sleeping sickness, and visceral leishmaniasis, MSF said.

He was previously with MSF, serving as head of the Manson Unit, a London-based medical research and implementation arm of MSF, and has held a board position with MSF Switzerland. In addition, Balasegaram worked in MSF medical projects in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Republic of Congo, Sudan and Uganda.

Dr. von Schoen-Angerer became executive director in September 2006 and spent 14 years overall with MSF, working in different field and headquarters positions, from field doctor to director of operations, according to MSF.

“On behalf of MSF, I’d like to thank Dr. von Schoen-Angerer for his strong leadership of the Access Campaign as well as multiple other contributions to MSF over the last 14 years,” MSF International President Unni Karunakara said in a statement.

He will remain available to the Access Campaign as an advisor, and will continue associations with UNITAID and some World Health Organization groups, according to sources. But he will also take a break and then pursue a six-month research project with a German university while based in Geneva.

Access Campaign Deputy Director Daniel Berman will act as interim executive director until Balasegaram arrives.

William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

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