Global Fund director named: American Mark Dybul

Fund, in separate move, fires inspector general for “unsatisfactory” work

Mark Dybul, new director general of the Global Fund

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Former US Global Aids Coordinator Mark Dybul, a medical doctor with extensive administrtive as well as clinical, has been named the new director general of Geneva-based Global Fund (full name: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). He is currently codirecting the Global Health Law Program at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in the US.

“Additionally, the Board decided to move forward on implementing a new funding model, replacing the rounds-based system,” reported IP Watch Thursday 15 November from Geneva, which has closely covered changes at the Global Fund in recent months.

Funding requests can now be made throughout the year and the previous method of funding cycles is being relaxed.

Dybul, in an interview with Reuters Thursday night, put the accent on raising  funds and getting them out the door quickly. The organization’s funding and disbursement suffered in recent months as it went through a major reorganization. “‘We are going to move aggressively to get money out of the door,’ said Dybul, a former US global Aids coordinator. ‘We will be working to increase the resources of the Fund and its contributions. We will be very aggressive,'” he told the news agency.

“‘We have the scientific knowledge to completely control these diseases, and we want to have the resources,’ Dybul added, although he did not set time frames nor financial goals.”

While Dybul’s record is strong, concerns have been raised in recent weeks from a number of corners that the influence of the US, the fund’s largest donor, may be increasing. Dybul has served on a number of boards and committees and he enjoys broad support from the medical community in the fields in which the Global Fund works. He was chair of UNaids’ programme coordinating board, and the organization was among those who quickly responded positively to  his appointment, as did Bill Gates, whose foundation has given the Global Fund $650 million and pledged another $750m.

Dybul, says the Global Fund, “may be best known for playing a key role in creating, and later leading, Pepfar – the largest global health initiative ever undertaken to address a single disease, which is widely credited with helping reverse the trend of AIDS, reducing new infection in many countries.”

He joined a task force that eventually led to Pepfar’s creation when he was a staff clinician at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Washington DC. He became its deputy chief medical officer in 2004. He was quickly rose through the system and in 2006, he was named  the US Global Aids coordinator, equivalent to the level of an assistant secretary of state in the US State Department, a post he held until 2009, with the title of ambassador.

The board of the Global Fund took another key staffing move Thursday, firing John Parsons, its inspector general, for “unsatisfactory” work after carrying out surveys inside and outside the organization. Parsons, it notes, “was responsible for overseeing audits and investigations by the Office of the Inspector General, whose mission is to provide the Global Fund with independent and objective assurance over the design and effectiveness of controls in place to manage risks affecting programs supported by the Global Fund. The Board confirms its full support for an independent and strong Office of the Inspector General. The Board said robust audits and investigations are essential to the health of the Global Fund, to root out instances of financial impropriety and to assure donors and implementers that money is properly accounted for.”

Also read: Science on Dybul’s appointment