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University of Nottingham Alumni is current WHO Director-General

Dr Tedros UoN

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, (WHO) is a senior alumni of the University of Nottingham. Dr Ghebreyesus is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected by the World Health Assembly and is also the first person from the African region to serve as WHO’s chief officer.

Born in the city of Asmara in Eritrea, Dr Ghebreyesus obtained his Master of Science in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London. He then went on to obtain his Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health from the University of Nottingham.

Dr Ghebreyesus said that the time he spent in Nottingham had without a doubt played a part in his journey so far. He added that he was proud that the University was continuing to take the lead in some of the most important and cutting-edge areas of health research such as antimicrobial resistance, cancer, regenerative medicine and brain health.

Globally, Dr Ghebreyesus is recognised as a health scholar, researcher and diplomat with first-hand experiences in research, operations and leadership in emergency responses to epidemics. 

Upon his appointment as WHO Director-General, Dr Ghebreyesus outlined five key priorities of the Organization, which are universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO.

Prior to his appointment at WHO, Dr Ghebreyesus served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016, during which he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Ghebreyesus also served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012 and under his leadership, the country invested in critical health infrastructure, expanded its health workforce and developed innovative health financing mechanisms.  

Professor Graham Kendall, CEO and Provost of the University of Nottingham Malaysia said, “Dr Ghebreyesus is a prime example of the many high-calibre graduates that our University has produced. We hope that he is an inspiration to our graduates, to emulate his achievements, and perhaps even exceed them.”

(Article image caption: Dr Tedros was awarded an Hononary Degree recognising his contribution to world health care)


For media enquiries please contact: Josephine Dionisappu, PR and Communications Manager University of Nottingham Malaysia at .

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally.

Posted on 3rd June 2020

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