Washington, D.C., 16 January 2015 (PAHO/WHO) — Dr. Isabella Danel, a U.S. citizen and former official of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was sworn in today as the new Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Danel will occupy PAHO/WHO's second-highest post, with a portfolio that includes disaster preparedness and relief, technical secretariat of governing bodies, external relations and partnerships, corporate communication, strategic planning and budgeting, and performance monitoring. She will also serve as PAHO/WHO's representative to Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico and as acting director in the absence of PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne.
"Your record prior to joining PAHO demonstrates clearly that you share our values and goals for international public health. Your impressive achievements suggest that you will deliver exactly the kind of leadership we seek from you," said Etienne during Danel's swearing-in at PAHO/WHO headquarters today.
"I am thrilled to be part of this influential organization," said Danel. "I will bring all of my experience and expertise, and hopefully wisdom, to ensure that PAHO continues to provide leadership in health regionally and globally."
Prior to joining PAHO/WHO, Danel spent two decades with the U.S. CDC, specializing in maternal mortality and international public health. Her posts included Chief of the Field Support Branch of the Division of Reproductive Health, Associate Director for Program Development at the CDC's Center for Global Health, Director of the CDC Regional Office for Central America and Panama in Guatemala, Deputy Chief of the Pregnancy and Infant Health Branch of the Division of Reproductive Health, and Epidemic Intelligence Officer at CDC's Behavioral Epidemiology and Demographic Research Branch. She also spent six years at the World Bank, as Senior Public Health Specialist in the Latin America and Caribbean regional office, on secondment from CDC.
Earlier in her career, Danel was a Clinical Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a technical advisor to the Ministry of Health of Nicaragua, and an attending physician at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
Danel has written numerous scholarly articles and book chapters on maternal mortality and other public health subjects. She holds a medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York and a master's in community health in developing countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
PAHO, founded in 1902, is the oldest international public health organization in the world. It works with its member countries to improve the health and the quality of life of the people of the Americas. As the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO, it is part of the United Nations system. It is also a member of the inter-American system.