Ms. Mary Lou Valdez, a U.S. citizen and former official of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), became the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in February of 2020.

The second-highest post at PAHO/WHO, with a portfolio that includes to serve as Secretary to the Governing Bodies of the Organization, including the Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Directing Council, and the Executive Committee, she oversees the official relations with the Governments of Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico; serves as a member of the Organization’s Executive Management, and has direct oversight of the Departments of Planning and Budget; External Relations, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization; Communications; as well as the Offices of Governing Bodies and Equity, Gender and Cultural diversity. Read more about our DD.

One team against cholera


Violence against women affects almost 60% of women in some countries of the Americas

Violence against women perpetrated by an intimate partner continues to be a violation of human rights and a widespread public health problem in the Americas. The prevalence of physical and/or sexual violence, however, varies among countries in the Region. In some countries, this type of violence affects 14% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 at some point in their lives, whereas in others it can affect over 60%.