Pate misses leadership position at Global Fund for AIDS, others

Muhammad Ali Pate

Former Minister of State for Health and Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, may have missed the opportunity of being named the next Executive Director of the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

According to ScienceInsider, Pate was among three shortlisted candidates to lead the Global Fund, but the group has decided to reopen its search due to leaks on concerns about alienating United States President, Donald Trump and allegations of conflicts of interest.

All of the reasons led to a surprise decision by the board of the Global Fund on Sunday to continue the search for a new executive director.

A statement by the Geneva, Switzerland-based Global Fund read: “Due to issues in the recruitment process, the Board felt they were unable to bring the process to conclusion.”

The current head of the Global Fund, Mark Dybul, would step down in May, and the group was expected to select his successor last Sunday from three candidates identified during a search this winter.

The New York Times had ran a story that said Pate, “had called Mr. Trump a fascist in his Twitter posts, saying he has much in common with ISIS for his anti-Muslim stance.”

The story also said: “American officials may look askance” at a second candidate, Subhanu Saxena, who formerly headed the generic drug company Cipla, which has sold large volumes of drugs to the Global Fund.

The third candidate, Helen Clark is head of the United Nations Development Programme and was a former prime minister of New Zealand.

According to the Times, Clark’s background raised concerns because the Trump administration “has expressed hostility toward United Nations programmes.”

Pate had stated in an e-mail that he has no plans to reapply for the job, noting that he was told the process was merit based and that he was the first-ranked candidate in the report. “The Global Fund Board’s decision is unfair and unjustified,” Pate wrote.

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