Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has been appointed Chief Scientist heading the division created to strengthen the organisation’s core scientific work and ensure the quality and consistency of its norms and standards.
She was previously Deputy Director-General for Programmes (DDP). A paediatrician from India and a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she brings with her 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes. Most recently, Dr. Swaminathan was Secretary of the Department of Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research. From 2009 to 2011, she also served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva.
She has sat on several WHO and global advisory bodies and committees, including the WHO Expert Panel to Review Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the Global TB Department at WHO, and as Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB. She received her academic training in India, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America, and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.