Geneva, 8 December 2016 – Médecins Sans Frontières’ Access Campaign has named Dr Els Torreele as its next Executive Director. Dr Torreele will take up her position in Geneva from the end of February 2017.
Dr Torreele will succeed Dr Manica Balasegaram, who left the position as Executive Director in June 2016. Sophie Delaunay has filled the role of Executive Director in the interim and will hand over duties to Dr Torreele in early 2017.
With a background in biology and immunology, Dr Torreele has a degree in bio engineering, and earned a PhD in applied biological sciences from the Free University Brussels. She initially joined MSF in 1999 as a member of the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines (now known as the Access Campaign), to coordinate its working group analysing the lack of research and development for neglected tropical diseases. In 2003, she left MSF to become a founding member of Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), which was created out of MSF’s working group.
In 2009, Dr Torreele became the director of the Access to Medicines and Innovation program at Open Society Foundations in New York, a position she currently holds. “I am very pleased to welcome Dr Torreele back to MSF as Executive Director of the Access Campaign, and look forward to the contribution she will make given her extensive experience working on neglected diseases and access to medicines,” said Dr Joanne Liu, International President of MSF.