Dr. Carissa F. Etienne was elected by the Member States of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for a second term as the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau on 27 September 2017, during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference. She began her second five-year term on 1 February 2018.
From March 2008 to November 2012, Dr. Etienne served as Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to that, as Assistant Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau from July2003 to February 2008, she led five technical areas: Health Systems and Services; Technology, Health Care, and Research; Health Surveillance and Disease Management; Family and Community Health; and Sustainable Development and Environmental Health.
Dr. Etienne began her career in her native Dominica as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital, and was later appointed as the Chief Medical Officer of that country. She has also served in other high-level posts in Dominica, including Director of Primary Health Care Services, Coordinator of the National AIDS Program, Disaster Coordinator for the Ministry of Health, and Chair of the National Advisory Council for HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Etienne received her medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery-MBBS) from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and her Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Community Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.