Mary Lou Valdez appointed as PAHO/WHO Deputy Director

Washington, D.C., 4 February 2020 (PAHO/WHO) – Ms. Mary Lou Valdez of the United States of America has been appointed as the new Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Ms. Valdez assumed PAHO/WHO’s second-highest post, with a portfolio that comprises Secretary to the Governing Bodies of the Organization, including the Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Directing Council, and the Executive Committee; and oversight of official relations with the Governments of Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States of America. She will also serve as a member of the Organization’s Executive Management. 

In addition, she will have direct supervision of the Departments of planning and budget; external relations, partnerships and resource mobilization; and communications as well as the Offices of governing bodies and equity, gender and cultural diversity. The independent Offices of Ethics, the Ombudsman and Investigations will be under the administrative jurisdiction of the Deputy Director. The Publications and Languages teams will also be part of Ms. Valdez’s portfolio.

“I am eagerly looking forward to working alongside Ms. Valdez towards our shared goal of ensuring health for all in the Americas”, said PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. “We are confident that her extensive experience in the field of public health will be a great asset to us here at PAHO.”

“I am excited to join PAHO with its long history of health leadership in the Americas and globally,” said Ms. Valdez. “I look forward to increasing our collaboration with partners to advance public health in our Region.”

Prior to joining PAHO/WHO, Ms. Valdez served as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Associate Commissioner for Diplomacy and Partnerships in the Office of Global Policy and Strategy. She joined the FDA in 2009 as the Associate Commissioner for International Programs. 

Prior to her tenure at the FDA, Ms. Valdez served as Deputy Director of the Office of Global Health Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

An experienced leader, Ms. Valdez has been a member of the U.S. Government delegations for the governing bodies of multilateral organizations, including PAHO, the WHO Executive Board and the World Health Assembly, and the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Ms. Valdez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Master of Science degree in Management from the University of Maryland. 

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