Dr Mahmoud M Fikri assumed his duties as
WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean on 1 February 2017.
From 1996 to 2017, Dr Fikri was adviser to the Minister of Health of
United Arab Emirates, and was previously the Assistant-Undersecretary
for Preventive Medicine and Health Policies Affairs in the Ministry
(1995–2013). He served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the WHO
Centre for Health Development, “WHO Kobe Centre”, Japan, and a Member of
the Advisory Board of the Gulf Health Council for Cooperation Council
States (1996–2005). He was also a member of WHO's Executive Board from
1997 to 2000.
For the last 19 years, Dr Fikri has been either a member or the head of
the United Arab Emirate's Ministry of Health delegation to WHO's Health
Assembly and the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dr Fikri was a Member of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP)
Advisory Group during the period (2008–2011) when the open-ended working
group of Member States worked to finalize the PIP Framework for sharing
influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits.
He was responsible for upgrading and adapting the national immunization
programme of the United Arab Emirates in line with the Expanded
Programme on Immunization of WHO. Due to these efforts, the United Arab
Emirates has achieved polio- and malaria-free status.
Dr Fikri is a Member of the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign
Affairs Standing Committee entrusted with the follow up of the Universal
Periodic Review of the Human Rights report (2009–2013) and a member of
the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (2007–2013).
He was head of the United Arab Emirate’s Ministry of Health delegation
to the United Nations High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the
Prevention and Control Non-Communicable Diseases (2011).
Dr Fikri graduated in medicine and surgery from the University of Ain
Shams, Egypt in 1979. He obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and
Hygiene from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, in
the United Kingdom, in 1984. He was a member of the Faculty of Public
Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, in 2000,
and holder of a PHD in Medicine from the University of Medicine and
Pharmacy, Carol Devila, Romania. Dr Fikri has received many awards such
as the United Arab Emirates Health Foundation prize award from WHO,
Geneva (2003) and the 2011 International Council for Control of Iodine
Deficiency award for his distinguished achievements and strong