World Health Organization elects Ethiopia's Ghebreyesus as its new director

Tedros - who campaigned under his first name - ultimately beat David Nabarro, the British candidate, after two rounds of voting by winning 121 votes.

Tedros won 133 votes to Nabarro's 50 in the third round of voting.

Praised for his leadership as successful global leader, reformer, skilled diplomat and proactive thinker by many prominent political figures and celebrities, Dr. Tedros has been endorsed by the African Union as the most qualified candidate which marks the first time a new World Health Organization leader from the continent.

With his election today, Tedros became the first director-general to be selected by member countries. Ghebreyesus told health ministers at the WHO's annual assembly after his election.

"We wish him much success and hope to continue cooperation with the WHO", said Einav Shimron-Grinboim, the Health Ministry's deputy director-general for information, in a phone call from Geneva.

Among his priorities as head of WHO include advancing universal health coverage, ensuring rapid and effective responses to disease outbreaks and emergencies and moving to a more transparent and accountable agency. "We are very pleased, and we invite him to visit Israel", she said. "I have worked with both Republicans and Democrats and if we can communicate with them the right way ..."

Ethiopian supporters hugged and high-fived each other after the announcement.

He was the only non-medical doctor in the election and is aiming to succeed China's Dr. Margaret Chan, who is ending a 10-year tenure at WHO's helm.

Nabarro, who was the western-backed candidate, is the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the world organisation's Sustainable Development Agenda, and had been former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's envoy for dealing the Ebola epidemic that ravaged parts of Africa during 2014-15.

After almost two years of public campaigning, originally by six candidates, the election itself took place in a closed-door session in which the health ministers of 194 of the world's countries cast their ballots in secret.

"I wouldn't take it as a final issue", he told reporters on Wednesday, the day after his election to a five-year term by World Health Organization member countries.

"Tedros is from the Tigray tribe, which holds a disproportionate amount of political power in Ethiopia"; Said Fiew Cocky and Narrow protesters.

GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, hailed Tedros' "commitment to immunization", noting the boosting vaccination rates in Ethiopia.

In his final pitch for why he should lead the WHO, Tedros emphasized his experience as Ethiopia's health minister when he oversaw the expansion of basic health services across the country.

With the current rise in disease outbreaks across the world, Spiegel believes that the world needs a strong WHO with a strong leader.

Tedros earned a doctorate from the University of Nottingham in Britain before being appointed Ethiopia's health minister in 2005.

In his first remarks as WHO's director general-elect, Tedros vowed to "reclaim. trust from member states and from every citizen in the world".

  • Zachary Reyes