THE PHILIPPINES has nominated physician Susan Pineda Mercado, Special Envoy of the President for Global Health Initiatives, for the position of Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific, the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
“Dr. Mercado is uniquely qualified for this role because of her professional competence, proven track record, and commitment to a more proactive WHO in the Western Pacific,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said in the statement.
“With her efficient work ethic and heart for public service, we are convinced that she will make the WHO a truly responsive organization in these complex times,” he added.
Dr. Mercado will be the first woman to head the Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) if named to the post. She formerly served WPRO as Regional Adviser for Health Promotion and as Director for Non-Communicable Diseases and Health through the Life-Course where she led teams of international public health experts who work with governments in 31 countries and areas across Asia and the Pacific. She was also active in WPRO’s Tobacco Free Initiative. Dr. Mercado has served the WHO for more than 15 years.
Dr. Mercado was previously Undersecretary and Chief of Staff of the Department of Health. She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in AB Philosophy (magna cum laude) and obtained her Doctor of Medicine and Masters in Public Health degrees from the same university.