Leadership change in the global diabetes community

05 December 2022

Today, Professor Akhtar Hussain began his term as President of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) at the opening of the IDF World Diabetes Congress 2022 in Lisbon. He succeeds Professor Andrew Boulton and will assume the presidency of the Federation for the next two years.

IDF is also pleased to announce that Prof Peter Schwarz was elected President-Elect by the General Assembly. He will assume the Presidency of the Federation in December 2024.

Akhtar Hussain originates from Bangladesh and moved to Norway in 1984. He graduated in Medicine from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and subsequently received post-graduate and doctoral diplomas in Boston (USA) and Bergen and Oslo (Norway). He has been working actively in diabetes for over 25 years and is currently Professor at NORD University (Norway), focusing on diabetes and metabolic syndrome. He previously served as Professor of Global Health at the University of Oslo (2006-17), office head of the Clinical Cancer Research and Epidemiology, National University hospital (Norway) and Senior Advisor for Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo. Prof. Hussain has been involved with a multitude of diabetes research programmes and organisations in numerous countries around the world. He initiated the Primary Diabetes Prevention Programme in Bangladesh and Pakistan and other programmes related to type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes. He a life member of the Diabetes Association of Bangladesh and a member of the Norwegian Diabetes Association, where he served as an executive member of its Medical Advisory Board for six years.

“Diabetes is expected to affect 1 in 9 people by 2030. WHO member states have agreed ambitious targets to improve diabetes diagnosis, access to medicines and supplies and outcomes for people living with diabetes over the next seven years. IDF is committed to helping achieve these targets by mobilizing its global network to ensure that health professionals receive the education and training that they require to diagnose and treat the condition early; people with diabetes are equipped with the tools to manage their condition and avoid complications; and effective programmes are in place at the national level to tackle the modifiable risk factors of type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Hussain.

Peter Schwarz is the head of the Division for Prevention and Care of Diabetes, Dresden, Germany. His research covers molecular and clinical mechanisms to treat and prevent type 2 diabetes. He is also developing and evaluating digital tools like mobile smartphone applications targeting the common lifestyle-associated risk factors of diabetes.

“I am dedicated to serve IDF and people with diabetes and to push for equitable diabetes care. I will use my medical, scientific and social business know-how to support the needs of people with diabetes, to fight inequality in care,” said Prof. Schwarz.

The new IDF Board of Directors for 2023-24 was also confirmed during the meeting of the IDF General Assembly on 5 December.

President: Prof Akhtar Hussain, Norway
President-Elect: Prof Peter Schwarz, Germany

Vice-president, Finance
Mr François Seynaeve, Belgium


Prof Adel El Sayed, Egypt
Ms Ana Fernanda Sanchez, Ecuador
Dr Hermelinda Pedrosa, Brazil
Dr Jackie Maalouf, Lebanon
Mr Joao Nabais, Portugal
Dr Iryna Vlasenko, Ukraine

Regional Chairs
Prof Jacko Obodo, Côte d’Ivoire (Africa)
Prof Nebojsa Lalic, Serbia (Europe)
Prof Mohamad Sandid, Lebanon (Middle-East and North Africa)
Dr Reginald O’Loughlin, St Kitts (North America and Caribbean)
Prof Fadlo Fraige, Brazil (South and Central America)
Prof A.K. Azad Khan, Bangladesh (South-East Asia)
Dr Takashi Kadowaki, Japan (Western Pacific)

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