Former Pres. Sirleaf Appointed as WHO Goodwill Ambassador

GENEVA, Switzerland – On Monday, May 20, the World Health Organization announced it had appointed former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as its new health workforce ambassador.

Sirleaf was appointed along with four others, including Alisson Becker, goalkeeper of the Brazilian national and Liverpool football teams, and Dr. Natália Loewe Becker, a medical doctor and health advocate from Brazil. Both were appointed as WHO goodwill ambassadors for health promotion.

Cynthia Germanotta, president of Born This Way Foundation, which was co-founded with her daughter Lady Gaga, was also appointed as WHO goodwill ambassador for mental health.

Sirleaf was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the health workforce.

The appointment of the four new goodwill ambassadors who were drawn from the fields of sports, politics, and community mobilization, was meant to promote healthier lives, stronger health workforces, and improved mental health globally, the WHO said.

The appointment of the four new ambassadors was announced by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director general, in his speech to open the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva.

“I welcome former president Sirleaf, Germanotta, Becker, and Becker as WHO’s new goodwill ambassadors and look forward to working with them over the coming years,” Tedros said.

“Each of our new ambassadors are champions in their own right, from helping their communities rebuild and develop sustainably, to fighting for better mental health and well-being, to being role models for healthier living.”

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Zeze Ballah

Zeze made his journalism debut as a high school reporter at the LAMCO Area School System. In 2016 and 2017, the Press Union of Liberia awarded Zeze with the Photojournalist of the Year award. Zeze was also the union's 2017 Health Reporter of the Year. He is a Health Journalism Fellow with Internews.

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