Interim arrangements for RBM Partnership Secretariat
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria today announced leadership arrangements for the transition of the RBM CEO announced in September. Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, a Partnership Board Member and Chair Elect since November 2018, will serve as Executive Chair Elect as of January 2019, when Dr Kesetebirhan Admasu (Dr Kesete) concludes his term as RBM CEO to undertake a new role to be announced in January. Dr Melanie Renshaw will join the Partnership in a newly created interim role as Chief Programme Officer. Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho continues in the role of Board Chair of the RBM Partnership until the end of her term in June 2019.
The search process for the next RBM Partnership CEO is progressing on schedule. Interviews are scheduled for February 2019, with an appointment anticipated shortly thereafter. The approved 2018-2020 Strategic Plan for the Partnership will continue to guide priority action.
“As the first CEO to lead RBM in its transformed structure, Dr. Kesete provided a keen strategic vision and galvanized momentum for the Partnership,” said Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, Board Chair of the RBM Partnership and former Assistant Director General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization. “The RBM Board joins me in sincerely thanking Dr. Kesete for his remarkable leadership.
Maha Barakat, former Director General of the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, will devote additional time to the Partnership to provide executive leadership during this interim period and before assuming the Board Chair role in June 2019. The Board expresses its gratitude to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for his continued support and engagement with the Partnership.
Dr Kesete, who served as Minister of Health of Ethiopia prior to taking on the leadership of RBM, has re-ignited country engagement and regional initiatives, built an outstanding and capable team, developed a comprehensive 2018-2020 Strategic Plan for the Partnership, and strengthened engagement with global malaria partners through new coordination structures.
“Eliminating malaria is a legacy issue for all Ethiopians and will always remain a core focus area for me,” said Dr. Kesete. “The RBM Partnership is a robust force for coordinated action against malaria. It has been my privilege to work with an outstanding team, all malaria partners and the Partnership Board, to advance our shared goals.”
Melanie Renshaw brings deep expertise and long-term relationships with malariaaffected countries to the newly created interim role of RBM Chief Programme Officer. Dr Renshaw will be seconded to RBM by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), where she serves as Chief Technical Advisor, overseeing development of the ALMA Scorecard for Action and Accountability, tracking country level progress in achieving key malaria and health targets in Africa, supporting national malaria control programmes and Ministries of Health in Africa to resolve technical and implementation bottlenecks, and facilitating filling funding gaps and enhancing procurement mechanisms. Dr Renshaw also serves as Co-chair of the RBM Country and Regional Support Partner Committee (CRSPC).
“With malaria cases rising in the highest-burden countries after more than a decade of steady declines, the steps countries and partners take now will either reverse our course or advance toward ending malaria,” said Dr Renshaw. “I am delighted to join the RBM team at this critical juncture, to help coordinate action and financing to achieve our ambitious malaria elimination goals.”
“I look forward to working closely with the RBM Secretariat and Partners in the months ahead,” concluded Professor Taysir Barakat. “Likewise, I appreciate Dr Mpanju-Shumbusho’s ongoing guidance and support as the Board Chair of the RBM Partnership; as well as the generous secondment of Dr Renshaw by ALMA.”