Multibillion-dollar health fund fires watchdog

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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Separately, the fund's board chose as its new executive director Mark Dybul, an openly gay doctor who served as U.S. global AIDS coordinator to former President George W. Bush.

In the wake of the reports, the Global Fund appointed a special review panel that recommended tighter financial controls and led to the departures of the former executive director, French immunologist Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, and the fund's chief spokesman, Jon Liden. But the panel also found friction between Kazatchkine, who was trying to reassure donors, and Parsons, whose teams of auditors and investigators were reporting the losses.

Before joining the Global Fund in 2007, Parsons, a British citizen, had served as a director at U.N. agencies UNESCO and UNICEF. He headed Britain's National Audit Office from 1989 to 1996. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Geneva-based fund was set up in 2002 as a new way to coordinate world efforts against the diseases and to speed up emergency funds from wealthy nations and donors to the places hardest hit. It currently pays for the treatment of around half the developing world's AIDS sufferers.