Dr Lucica Ditiu has been appointed Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. A native of Romania, Dr Ditiu is a physician and researcher who has devoted her career to improving the lives of people living in communities heavily burdened by tuberculosis (TB).
Dr Ditiu, aged 42, began a career with WHO in January 2000 as a medical officer for TB in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia within the disaster and preparedness unit of the WHO European Regional Office. In this role she worked with all institutions involved in TB care, including ministers of health and justice. She also directly supported civil society and communities, funding their efforts through a grant from the European Commission for Humanitarian Assistance. In 2006 she was selected to be a medical officer in the TB unit of the European Regional Office in Copenhagen.
In January 2010 Dr Ditiu joined the Stop TB Partnership Secretariat in Geneva to lead the TB REACH initiative, whose goal is to improve access to TB treatment. The programme awards grants of up to US$ 1 million to applicants demonstrating that their organizations can reach poor and vulnerable populations and provide them with TB care.
A 1992 graduate of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Dr Ditiu completed specialty training in pulmonology through a joint programme with the Romanian National Institute of Lung Diseases (Marius Nasta). In 1999, she received a certificate in International Public Health from George Washington University in Washington, DC, which she completed as a fellow in epidemiology of lung diseases, TB control and programme management and evaluation. In 2004 she received the National Order of Merit medal for medicine in recognition of her fundraising efforts on behalf of the Romanian TB Control Programme and Ministry Health.
The Partnership’s former Executive Secretary, Dr Marcos Espinal, stepped down in August 2010 and moved on to the position of Director of Health Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at the WHO Regional Office for the Americas/Pan American Health Organization.