Executive Management


Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, PAHO/WHO DIrector

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, a national of Brazil, was elected Director of the Pan American Health Organization by Member States during the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference on 28 September 2022. Dr. Barbosa began his five-year term on 1 February 2023.

The Director represents the Organization as the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (PASB), the world's oldest international public health agency. The Director serves as chair of the Organization's Executive Management (EXM), as secretary to the governing bodies of the Organization, and oversees official relations with all members states of the Americas. In addition to representing the Organization at all levels (political, technical and administrative), the Director has direct oversight for country and sub-regional coordination, internal oversight and evaluation services, and legal counsel.

Deputy Director

Deputy Director

Ms. Mary Lou Valdez, a U.S. citizen, was appointed Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) in February of 2020. The Deputy Director position is the second-highest post at PAHO/WHO, with a portfolio that includes serving as Secretary to the Governing Bodies of the Organization, including the Pan American Sanitary Conference, the Directing Council and the Executive Committee.

At PAHO, Ms. Valdez oversees the official relations with the Governments of Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico and serves as a member of the Organization’s Executive Management. She has direct oversight of the Departments of Planning, Budget and Evaluation; External Relations, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization; Communications; and the Offices of Governing Bodies. Lou also works with the Offices of Ethics, Investigations, and Ombudsman as part of her portfolio.

Assistant Director

Assistant Director

Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas, a national of Antigua and Barbuda, received her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of the West Indies in 1993, a Master of Public Health in 2005, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the Mona campus, Jamaica in 2020.

Dr. Sealey-Thomas commenced her journey as a Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health in Antigua and Barbuda, supervising a broad spectrum of healthcare professionals from 2000 to 2004. Ascending to a pivotal role, she served as the Chief Medical Officer from 2005 to 2023, where she acted as the primary advisor on paramount public health matters, chaired multiple national health committees, and represented the government on both regional and international platforms.

Director of Administration

PAHO Assistant Director,  Kristan Beck

Ms. Kristan Beck, a national of the United States of America, was appointed Director of Administration of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in August 2021.

The Director of Administration serves as a member of the Organization's Executive Management (EXM) and is comprised of the areas for financial resources management, general services operations, human resources management, information technology services, and procurement and supply management. In addition, the Office of Administration oversees PAHO's Enterprise Risk Management Program and Compliance functions to strengthen accountability and the protection of PAHO's resources.