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PATH announced that Christian Loucq, MD, has been selected as director of strategy and operations for the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI). Dr Loucq’s position will be similar to that of a chief operating officer in industry; he will be responsible for operational alignment and services in support of MVI’s strategies and will participate in setting the program’s strategic direction.

Dr. Loucq brings to PATH 30 years of experience in medicine, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and global health. His professional experience spans the globe: born and educated in France, he has lived and worked in Algeria, Belgium, Chad, China, India, the Netherlands, Niger, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. He has managed vaccine businesses in China, India, and Thailand. Dr. Loucq has been involved in most stages of vaccine development and has worked with large vaccine companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur, and biotech companies including Rhein Biotech and, more recently, Acambis. He has extensive experience partnering with local governments and building public-private partnerships as well as setting up local private collaborations.

He earned his state doctorate of human medicine at the University of Paris X and a diploma of public health and tropical medicine from the University of Aix-Marseilles. Dr. Loucq is well positioned to further the MVI mission to accelerate the development of promising malaria vaccines and ensure their availability and accessibility in the developing world.

For the immediate future, Dr. Loucq will serve as MVI’s interim director while PATH conducts an international search to recruit the next director for the program. Dr. Loucq will be assisted by the MVI leadership team, including newcomer Sally Ethelston.

Ms. Ethelston has joined PATH to oversee communications and advocacy for MVI. Prior to joining PATH, she worked in international reproductive health for more than 15 years, with an emphasis on communications, policy analysis, and advocacy. She directed the communications program at Population Action International for more than 10 years, followed by three years leading the group’s financing project that focused on tracking the policies, programs, and funding of the international donor community. Ms. Ethelston also has worked as a consultant to the World Bank and International Planned Parenthood Federation. She has an interdisciplinary master’s degree in Arab studies from Georgetown University, where she focused on economic and social development in the region.

Posted February 2, 2007.