Dr Shin Young-soo became the World Health Organization's Regional Director for the Western Pacific in February 2009.
Dr Shin is the first Regional Director for the Western Pacific to come from outside of WHO. He was nominated at the September 2008 session of the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, and confirmed by the Organization's Executive Board in Geneva in January 2009. He ran unopposed for a second five-year term and was confirmed again in January 2014.
From his first day at the helm, Dr Shin pledged to put countries at the centre of the work of WHO in the Region. He has led a series of reforms to change the way the Organization works. His focus has been constant: providing better support focused on needs at the country level. These reforms are producing results by helping Member States to achieve better health outcomes for the nearly 1.9 billion people of the Western Pacific Region.
Before becoming Regional Director, Dr Shin had a longstanding connection with WHO. He had undertaken more than 30 assignments with the Organization as an adviser and consultant, serving several times on the Executive Board as the representative of the Republic of Korea.
Prior to joining WHO, Dr Shin was a professor of Health Policy and Management at the College of Medicine, Seoul National University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1969.
Dr Shin was born in Seoul on 15 October 1943. He is married with three children and four grandchildren.
Regional Director abroad
In photos: Dr Shin Young-soo's visit to the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Dr Shin Young-soo: "Fighting NCDs requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach"
Dr Shin visits Viet Nam in support of Universal Health Care coverage reform