KIGALI, Rwanda – The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria selected Aida Kurtović as its new Chair, after serving as Vice-Chair for the past two years. The Board also selected Ambassador John Simon as incoming Vice-Chair.
Kurtović, who is from Bosnia and Herzegovina, was selected for a two-year term during a Board meeting that is being hosted by the government of Rwanda.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame addressed the Board at the opening of the meeting today and stressed the importance of strengthening systems of health, of orienting all financial support around a country’s strategic plan for health, and of long-term improvement through constant learning.
The Global Fund expressed deep thanks to President Kagame for welcoming the Global Fund Board members to Rwanda, and more important, for leading great progress in health, significantly lifting life expectancy through serious work and concentrated investment.
After being selected, Kurtović signaled her commitment to the principles and the experience of the Global Fund.
“In the spirit of the Global Fund, we are learning by doing,” said Kurtović. “I promise to do my best to continue to provide the right leadership needed as we work to end epidemics.”
Prior to serving as Board Vice-Chair over the past two years, Kurtović also served as a Board member, and has been involved with the Global Fund in numerous capacities, serving on Bosnia’s Country Coordinating Mechanism and on Board committees.
Kurtović is Executive Director of Partnerships in Health, an organization in Sarajevo whose mission is assisting institutions to build capacity and achieve sustainable improvements in the quality of basic and essential health services, changing the lives of vulnerable populations. Partnerships in Health strongly focuses on the HIV testing, counseling and support to people living with HIV among other services.
As Chair of the Board, Kurtović succeeds Norbert Hauser of Germany, whose term began in April 2015.
Ambassador John Simon, selected as Vice-Chair of the Board, is a distinguished government official with special expertise in innovative finance, and is currently founder and managing partner of Total Impact Capital, an impact investing firm. He has served as United States Ambassador to the African Union, and as Executive Vice President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
At OPIC, Ambassador Simon championed impact investing, including efforts to develop a series of social development funds for Africa. Ambassador Simon previously served as a senior director in the U.S. National Security Council and as Special Assistant to the President.
“The Global Fund can take a leadership role in innovative finance,” said Ambassador Simon. “I will work with the Board and the Secretariat to see how we can be as catalytic as possible.”
The new terms for Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board will start at the conclusion of the current meeting, on 4 May 2017.