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Biographical Note: Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director of the Pan American Health Organization.


Argentine doctor Mirta Roses Periago received her medical degree from the National University of Córdoba in 1969, obtaining a diploma in public health with a concentration in epidemiology and a certificate of specialization in infectious diseases from the University of Buenos Aires. She also studied tropical medicine at Bahí­a State Federal University in Brazil.

Dr. Roses began her career of service in Córdoba, Argentina, as a physician on the staff of Rawson Hospital and as an assistant instructor at the National University in the Departments of Preventive and Social Medicine and Infectious Diseases. She participated in the Research Program on Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever in Pergamino, Buenos Aires Province. In 1974, she joined Argentina's Ministry of Public Health, where she held posts in the areas of epidemiology, research, and health emergencies.

She joined the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in 1984 as coordinator of the Epidemiology Unit of the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago.

In 1986, Dr. Roses was transferred to the Dominican Republic, where she served as an epidemiologist. In 1988 she was named PAHO/WHO Representative in that country. There, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Central University of the East and named an Honorary Professor by the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.

From July 1992 to January 1995 she served as the PAHO/WHO Representative in Bolivia, where she was awarded the Armed Forces Order of Marshal Santa Cruz, the Order of Bolivar the Liberator, and the Presidential Order of Public Health, and named an Honorary Professor by the University of San Andrés.

In 1995, she was appointed Assistant Director of PAHO, joining the World Health Organization's Director Program Management Group and Global Program Management Group, which she chaired for two periods.

In September 2002, Dr. Roses was elected Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau by the countries of the Hemisphere. She took office on 1 February 2003, becoming the first Argentine and first woman to hold that position in the world's oldest health public agency, founded in 1902.

Dr. Roses has been the recipient of numerous honors—among them, honorary doctorates from the National University of Córdoba in Argentina, the Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University, and the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México. She has also been awarded Ecuador's National Order of Honorato Vásquez with the degree of High Official and Nicaragua's Order of José de Marcoleta and Pedro Joaquí­n Chamorro Order of Liberty; and the Recognition of the Legislature of the Independent City of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Honorary Member

- Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering
- Bolivian Association of Sanitary Engineering
- Veterinary Medical Association, Bolivia
- Association of Sanitary Engineering, Dominican Republic
- Dominican Pediatrics Society
- Society for Infectious Diseases of the Dominican Republic
- Veterinary Medical Association, Dominican Republic

Active Member

- Bolivian Public Health Society
- The National Academies International Advisory Board, USA

- Dr. Honoris Causa: - National University of Córdoba, Argentina - Central University of the East, Dominican Republic - National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, León - Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University - Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México

- Professor Honoris Causa: - Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - University of San Andrés, Bolivia - Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial, Ecuador - Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

- Decorations: - Order of Public Health, Presidency of the Nation, Bolivia - Order of Marshal Santa Cruz, FA, Bolivia - Order of Bolivar the Liberator, Presidency, Bolivia - Order of José de Marcoleta, grade of Grand Cross, Nicaragua - Pedro Joaquí­n Chamorro Order of Freedom, grade of Grand Officer, Nicaragua - Civilian Order of Health, Ministry of Health and Consumption, Spain

- Distinguished Visitor of the City of Masaya, Nicaragua
- Distinguished Visitor of the City of Montevideo, Uruguay
- Distinguished Citizen of the City of Córdoba, Argentina
- Distinguished Guest of the Municipio of Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Decoration for Merit in Public Health, Ecuador
- Medal for Agricultural Merit, SNAG, Bolivia
- Golden Shield, University of Antioquia, Medellí­n, Colombia
- Medal 50th Anniversary of the School of Public Health, University of Sí£o Paulo, Brazil
- Recognition of the Legislature of the Independent City of Buenos Aires, Argentina