Despite two days of meetings this week in Guatemala City, the governing board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has failed to pick a new executive director.
The board could not decide on which of the final two candidates to name executive director. The names of the finalists are have not been disclosed. The fund’s current executive director, Richard Feachem, is due to step down in March.
One of those taking part in those meetings Wednesday and Thursday is Richard Burzynski, head of the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations or ICASO. From Guatemala City, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about why a new executive director was not chosen.
“What is required for board consensus is two-thirds approval in both chambers of the board. There is the donor group and there is the recipient group. And each candidate would require two-thirds support in each of the chambers in order to be selected,” he says.
Despite much debate and voting, a consensus could not be reached. Burzynski says that they decided to “re-launch a process and would invite those candidates to reapply…but at the same time recognizing that we may have to look at the voting procedure if we are deadlocked again.”
The ICASO head says the operation of the Global Fund does not depend on an immediate decision on a new executive director. He says, “One person is not going to make or break the Global Fund. And if it takes a little longer for us to reach that consensus we do have the mechanisms in place to continue with the grants to continue with the oversight, to continue to ensure accountability.”
On another matter, the board approved $604 million in new grants, which it says “brings the Global Fund’s total portfolio of grants to $6.4 billion in 135 countries.