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[procaare] Report on the Selection of the new Global Fund Executive Director
- From: "ICASO" <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 13:56:21 -0500
Report on the Selection of the new Global Fund Executive Director
The following is an information note from Richard Burzynski of ICASO,
Communication Focal Point for the Developed Country NGO delegation to the
Global Fund Board. This note is intended to provide transparency and
accountability to the community sector of the process for selection of the
new Global Fund Executive Director.
1. The GF Board met in Executive Session on Tuesday (08h30 - 23h30) and
on Wednesday (16h30 - 22h00). These sessions were open only to Board
members, their Alternates, and their Delegation's Communication Focal
2. As you will recall, the Nomination Committee screened over 360
applications and recommended 5 candidates to the Board. Delegations could
base their decision-making by examining videos of their interviews,
candidate CVs, vision statements and bios released by 3 of the candidates,
and by listening to taped teleconference interviews.
3. The selection process at the Board meeting utilizes a voting system
that included: (1) eliminating candidates with the fewest votes through a
'straw vote' ; (2) followed by an open 'roll call vote' on the top 2
candidates in each round of voting. Board policy requires a consensus
vote defined as 2/3 majority in each chamber of the Board: the donor and
4. After many exhausting rounds of voting and discussion, it emerged that
the Board could not reach consensus on any one candidate.
5. The Board noted that there was a consistent block (defined as 4 votes
against in any of the chambers). Following discussions after each vote,
it emerged that the blocking Delegations were unable to break the deadlock
and reach consensus.
6. The Board agreed to one final round of voting on the top 2 candidates
on Wednesday evening. Unfortunately, this round was again deadlocked.
Therefore the Board took the following decision point:
"The Global Fund Board undertook a global search for a new Executive
Director based on a set of agreed criteria. The selection process was
designed to meet the principle of consensus among stakeholders of this
public-private partnership. The Board fully considered a slate of five
excellent and diverse candidates but could not reach the Board established
consensus on a single candidate. Therefore, the Board has decided to
re-launch the search process immediately with the goal of identifying an
7. The Nomination Committee is preparing a recommendation to the Board on
the new process that will include a possible modification of the
recruitment and voting procedure. Details of this new process will be
sent to you under separate cover once it is approved.
8. Two press releases related to the Executive Director search has been
sent under previous cover.
9. A synopsis of the deadlock is as follows:
* There are Donor Delegations that did not want to support a particular
candidate supported by the Recipient Delegations and consistently blocked
any possible consensus. Conversely, there are Recipient Delegations that
did not want to support a candidate supported by the Donor Delegations and
consistently blocked possible consensus.
* While some Delegations from both sides of the chamber were able to
support either of the top 2 candidates, there were Delegations on both
sides that were not able to so.
* The procedures highlighted divisions within the Board that will need to
healed - there remains distrust among and between Delegations.
* The lobbying by countries on a particular candidate was helpful -
however, there have been donors who have made comments and written
statements disparaging a particular candidate. This negative campaigning
has created a problem and contributed to deadlock in the voting.
* The dynamics currently at play at this Board meeting are not new. The
Doha and Cancun trade discussions illustrate that rich countries can not
push less rich countries into a decision.
10. Next Steps
* There will be no vote for a new ED at this meeting. There is no point
pressing this - there is no room to re-open the debate and re-consider the
* The Board has approved $847 million in new grants. Phase II renewals,
and on-going work will continue with the Secretariat. There are senior
and capable staff in place.
* We all need to be sensitive to power and culture dynamics - pushing any
delegation into a position is not a partnership - it is seen as bullying.
There is an important lesson learnt and it is hoped that we will respect
each other in the future. Negative campaigning needs to end - countries
should be careful when lobbying through their embassies, and we need to
seek "win-win" solutions. This also means that no candidate should be
smeared or dismissed as this has contributed to intractability by
* The Board will adopt a new process - this information will be sent to
you once it is approved.
11. The NGO Developed Country Delegation refused to vote politically - we
voted fairly (based on the skills and merit) for each of the top 3
candidates whenever it was possible. While this outcome - no new ED - is
seen as a crisis by some, it is felt that any of the 2 top candidates
would have been weakened as a result of international politics - this
would not have been helpful.
As noted in a recent letter from the Centre for Global Development:
"The Global Fund's Board is unique among international bodies. It puts a
very strong emphasis on broad participation among donors, recipients,
NGOs, the private sector, and people living with the diseases in an
attempt to take seriously the ideas of broad participation, transparency
This [voting and blocking] divide reflected differences in views between
the donors and recipients, a strong push from each group to assert more
control over the organization, and inevitable horse-trading between
political constituencies for votes. Alas: democracy is messy. Obviously,
it would have been far better for the Fund if the Board had been able to
reach a clear consensus around one candidate, and the delay is not a good
outcome for the Fund. But the Board deserves credit in two ways.
First, there has been widespread criticism of how leaders are chosen in
the World Bank, the IMF, and other bodies when essentially one country or
a block of countries decides on a candidate and the choice is rammed
through without much debate and with little voice from developing
countries. The Global Fund has tried to move far in the other direction
and give many different constituencies a voice. This is laudable, but not
Second, the Board could have continued the debate this week and probably
ultimately reached the double two-thirds needed for one of the candidates.
But the new ED would have had a weak mandate from the start, with half the
Board clearly not supportive, which would not have been good for the Fund
in the long run. The Board recognized this potential problem, and
ultimately decided that extending the search to find a candidate that
would receive a strong mandate was better in the long run than pushing
forward to agree on one with a split mandate. Given where they were, this
was the right decision."
Please feel free to contact ICASO (firstname.lastname@example.org) on issues related to
the election process.
International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO)
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