Margaret Chan

About Margaret Chan

Who is it?: Director-General, World Health OrganizationDirector-General, World Health Organization
Birth Day: August 21, 1947
Birth Place: China
Preceded by: Lee Shu-Hung
Succeeded by: Lam Ping-Yan
Spouse(s): David Chan
Alma mater: Education University of Hong Kong University of Western Ontario National University of Singapore
Traditional Chinese: 陳馮富珍
Simplified Chinese: 陈冯富珍
TranscriptionsStandard MandarinHanyu PinyinYue: CantoneseJyutping: Transcriptions Standard Mandarin Hanyu Pinyin Chén-Féng Fùzhēn Yue: Cantonese Jyutping Can Fung Fu Zan Chén-Féng FùzhēnCan Fung Fu Zan
Hanyu Pinyin: Chén-Féng Fùzhēn
Jyutping: Can Fung Fu Zan

Margaret Chan

Margaret Chan was born on August 21, 1947 in China, is Director-General, World Health OrganizationDirector-General, World Health Organization. Leader of the global health organization responsible for eradicating communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other vaccine-preventable diseases, Margaret Chan heads into the last year of her second term as WHO chief with a no-holds-barred approach. In May, she delivered a "stern warning" at her keynote address for the 69th World Health Assembly in Geneva, predicting that "the world is not prepared to cope" with present and future outbreaks. It's a lesson that Chan learned firsthand. Her agency was roundly condemned for its response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014, and later issued a mea culpa for its inadequate measures to fight the epidemic. In response to these learnings, this year WHO has revamped its emergency response protocol, and has beefed up funding to the tune of $494 million.

Does Margaret Chan Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Margaret Chan is still alive (as per Wikipedia, Last update: May 10, 2020).

🎂 Margaret Chan - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

Currently, Margaret Chan is 76 years, 9 months and 0 days old. Margaret Chan will celebrate 77rd birthday on a Wednesday 21st of August 2024. Below we countdown to Margaret Chan upcoming birthday.

Popular As Margaret Chan
Age 76 years old
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Born August 21, 1947 (China)
Birthday August 21
Town/City China
Nationality China

🌙 Zodiac

Margaret Chan’s zodiac sign is Virgo. According to astrologers, Virgos are always paying attention to the smallest details and their deep sense of humanity makes them one of the most careful signs of the zodiac. Their methodical approach to life ensures that nothing is left to chance, and although they are often tender, their heart might be closed for the outer world. This is a sign often misunderstood, not because they lack the ability to express, but because they won’t accept their feelings as valid, true, or even relevant when opposed to reason. The symbolism behind the name speaks well of their nature, born with a feeling they are experiencing everything for the first time.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Margaret Chan was born in the Year of the Pig. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Pig are extremely nice, good-mannered and tasteful. They’re perfectionists who enjoy finer things but are not perceived as snobs. They enjoy helping others and are good companions until someone close crosses them, then look out! They’re intelligent, always seeking more knowledge, and exclusive. Compatible with Rabbit or Goat.

Some Margaret Chan images



Born in Hong Kong as Margaret Fung Fu-chun, Chan was initially trained as a home economics Teacher at the Northcote College of Education, now the Education University of Hong Kong. She then earned her BA degree in home economics at Brescia University College an affiliated institution of the University of Western Ontario (UWO) in 1973 and her MD degree at UWO in 1977. She later earned her MSc (public health) degree at the National University of Singapore in 1985. Chan completed the Program for Management Development (PMD 61) at Harvard Business School in 1991.


Her profile was raised by her handling, in those positions, of the 1997 H5N1 avian influenza outbreak and the 2003 SARS outbreak in Hong Kong. After the first victim of the H5N1, Chan first tried to reassure Hong Kong residents with her infamous statements like, "I ate chicken last night" or "I eat chicken every day, don't panic, everyone". When many more H5N1 cases appeared, she was criticized for misleading the public. She became "a symbol of ignorance and arrogance epitomizing the mentality of 'business as usual' embedded in the ideological and institutional practices within the bureaucracy, especially after the hand-over." In the end, she was credited for helping bring the epidemic under control by the slaughter of 1.5 million chickens in the region in the face of stiff political opposition.


In February 2007, Chan provoked the anger of humanitarian and civil society groups by questioning the quality of generic medicines while on a visit to Thailand.


After a visit to North Korea in April 2010, Chan said malnutrition was a Problem in the country but that North Korea's health system would be the envy of many developing countries because of the abundance of medical staff. She also noted there were no signs of obesity in the country, which is a newly emerging Problem in other parts of Asia. Chan's comments marked a significant departure from that of her predecessor, Gro Harlem Brundtland, who said in 2001 that North Korea's health system was near collapse. The director-general's assessment was criticised, including in a Wall Street Journal editorial which called her statements "surreal." The editorial further stated, "Ms. Chan is either winking at the reality to maintain contact with the North or she allowed herself to be fooled."


Appointed to the post in November 2006, her first term ran through to June 2012. In her appointment speech, Chan considered the "improvements in the health of the people of Africa and the health of women" to be the key performance indicator of WHO and she wants to focus WHO's attention on "the people in greatest need." On 18 January 2012, Chan was nominated by the WHO's Executive Board for a second term and was confirmed by the World Health Assembly on 23 May 2012. In her acceptance speech, Chan indicated that universal coverage is a 'powerful equaliser' and the most powerful concept of public health. Chan's new term began on 1 July 2012 and continued until 30 June 2017.


In 2014, she was ranked as the 30th most powerful woman in the world, based on her position as Director-General, by Forbes. Her ranking increased from 33rd in 2013.


She joined the Hong Kong government in December 1978 as a medical officer. In November 1989, she was promoted to Assistant Director of the Department of Health. In April 1992, she was promoted to Deputy Director and, in June 1994, was named the first woman in Hong Kong to head the Department of Health. In 1997, she was given the distinction for the Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and was also appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. She left the Hong Kong Government in August 2003 after 25 years of Service to join the World Health Organization. She finished her second term as Director-General of the World Health Organization on June 30, 2017.

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