Dr Akjemal Magtymova assumed her functions as Head of Mission and WHO Representative to the Syrian Arab Republic as of 27 April 2020.
Having served as a clinical practitioner and a researcher in maternal health and human reproduction in Turkmenistan, Dr Magtymova dedicated the past 22 years to the international development working with UNFPA in Turkmenistan and the Lao PDR; with WHO in the countries of the South-East Asia Region (DPR Korea, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia/ New Delhi, WHO Country Offices in Maldives and Nepal) and later joined WHO’s Eastern-Mediterranean Region.
Before the current assignment, Dr Magtymova completed nearly 3 years as WHO Representative to the Sultanate of Oman, prior to which having served as Deputy Head and Emergency Coordinator of the WHO Country Office in Yemen, leading operations to address complex humanitarian emergency. During her tenure in the Republic of Maldives, she played an active role in peace processes as acting UN Resident Coordinator/Designate UN Security Official in addition to her portfolio as a WHO Representative.
At the global level, Dr Magtymova has been an active contributor to the development of WHO-led technical guidelines and research and authored/ co-authored a number of national and regional level technical publications. Dr Magtymova has had various functions throughout her career, including support to health reforms, leading multi-stakeholder policy dialogue for equitable health financing strategies with a focus on universal health coverage.
Dr Magtymova is a medical doctor specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology with MSc in Health Systems Management from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine distinctively combined with Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Dr Magtymova’s professional aspiration is to promote global health and diplomacy for peace and sustainable development.