WHO appoints Soumya Swaminatha Chief Scientist

Soumya Swaminathan, an Indian paediatrician and clinical scientist has been named as chief scientist at World Health Organisation (WHO).


Swaminathan, who is known for her work in tuberculosis, will be heading the newly created department to strengthen the scientific work under WHO.

In October 2017, Swaminathan was appointed Deputy Director General at WHO, the first Indian to hold the position.

Responding to her new role, Swaminathan was quoted by Mint as saying, “This newly created position of chief scientist will give me an opportunity to strengthen WHO’s core normative work, promote research on public health priorities and strengthen health research capacity in countries including on ethics, and accelerate access to digital technologies to improve health.”


She held many eminent position in past including, Secretary, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, and Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India to oversee biomedical research.

Swaminathan, daughter of MS Swaminathan, considered the father of India’s Green Revolution, also served at UNICEF and World Bank.

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