Professor Jane Halton elected Chair of the Executive Board The World Health Assembly

The Executive Board of the World Health Assembly has elected Professor Jane Halton as its Chair.

Page last updated: 06 June 2013

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6 June 2013

At its meeting in Geneva last week, the Executive Board of the World Health Assembly elected Professor Jane Halton as its Chair. This is the first time the Australian delegate has held this position.

The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body for the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Assembly generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States.

The Executive Board is composed of 34 members technically qualified in the field of health. Members are elected for three-year terms. The main functions of the Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.

This appointment is in addition to Professor Halton’s permanent position as the Secretary of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing where she remains full time.

Chairman of the Executive Board
Image of Professor Jane Halton, Chairman of the Executive Board
Professor Jane Halton

Professor Jane Halton PSM

Secretary
Australia Government Department of Health and Ageing


Jane Halton has been Secretary of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, responsible for Australia’s national health system, since 2002.

Jane has had an active leadership role in global health diplomacy and the World Health Organization over this period, including as:
  • a Western Pacific Region member of the WHO Executive Board from 2004 to 2007, with a further three year period as a member commencing in May 2012
  • President of the World Health Assembly in 2007
  • Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board from 2005 to 2006
  • Chairman of the WHO Programme, Budget and Administration Committee from 2005 to 2007
  • Chair of the Intergovernmental Meeting on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: Sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits from 2007 to 2009
Jane holds an honours degree in psychology from the Australian National University, is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and an honourary fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Executives. She holds the position of Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. She was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2002, and the Centenary Medal in 2003. In 2011, she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa by the University of New South Wales.

Jane is also Chair of the OECD’s Health Committee and has been a member of the board of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation since 2007. She was awarded the Geneva Forum for Health Award in 2013 for her contribution to heath systems and innovation in tobacco control.

Media contact: Kay McNiece, 0412 132 585

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