Washington, DC, 30 July 2018 (PAHO)- Brazilian Doctor, Jarbas Barbosa da Silva has been named the new assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization's (WHO) Regional Office for the Americas.

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, PAHO Assistant DirectorThe new assistant director will be in charge of overseeing the technical cooperation programs provided by PAHO to the organization's 35 Member States. These technical areas include Family, Health Promotion and Life Course; Communicable Diseases and Environmental Determinants of Health; Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health; Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health; and Health Systems and Services.

The Director of PAHO, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, recently appointed Barbosa to the post of deputy director, based in the organization's Washington DC headquarters. Barbosa replaces Dr. Francisco Becerra, who held the position since 2013. 

Barbosa was President and Director of Brazil's National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) from July 2015 until July 2018, after having worked since 2011 at the Brazilian Ministry of Health, first as the Secretary of Health Surveillance, and later as Secretary of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies.

From 1997 until 2003, Barbosa held the position of Director of Brazil's National Center for Epidemiology (CENEPI). As part of this role he led the country's National Sanitary Surveillance, Prevention and Control System.

His professional career in the field of public health began in 1982, when he began working for the State of Pernambuco's Health Department. There, he was appointed coordinator of the Sexually Transmitted Disease and HIV/AIDS Program. Then, he served as Municipal Health Secretary in Olinda and then Health Secretary for the State of Pernambuco.

Dr. Barbosa received his medical degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil. He specialized in public health and epidemiology at the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ). He holds a Master's degree in Medical Sciences and a PhD in public health from the University of Campinas, Brazil.

Dr. Barbosa's work with PAHO

In 2007, Barbosa joined PAHO as Manager of Health Surveillance and Disease Care, where he led the coordination of regional activities related to surveillance, prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases; veterinary public health; and health analysis and statistics. He served in this position until April 2010.

As a member of the Brazilian delegation, Barbosa has participated in the World Health Assembly, the Executive Board of WHO and the Directing Council of PAHO. He also represented Brazil in the PAHO Executive Committee from 2012 to 2014, and was Chairman of that Committee from 2013 until 2014.