Dr Dirk Engels has been appointed as the new Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) with effect from 1 May 2014 when its incumbent Dr Lorenzo Savioli retires after 23 years of dedicated service, including 9 years as Director NTD.
“I am confident that Dr Engels’ long commitment to and experience with control of neglected tropical diseases will lead to achievement of the WHO Roadmap’s targets” said Dr Hiroki Nakatani, WHO Assistant Director-General .
Dr Engels, a Belgian national, is currently Coordinator of the Preventive Chemotherapy and Transmission Control unit of the Department and is very familiar with the burden of neglected tropical diseases. He has provided clear strategic and technical direction for interventions relating to the control and elimination of 9 of the 17 neglected tropical diseases.
“Dr Engels is fully aware of the challenges in overcoming neglected tropical diseases” said Dr Lorenzo Savioli, Director of Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases. “His appointment as Director means a continuation of the excellent work accomplished over the past decade and an expansion of the global community of partners and stakeholders.”
Dr Engels has represented WHO in many international fora and led senior delegations to negotiate with agencies and donors for resources to fund the Department’s activities.
His priorities include promoting the role of the Department with a strong focus on its human capital, continued staff training and preparing to meet future challenges.