ICN welcomes the appointment of Amelia Tuipulotu as WHO’s new Chief Nursing Officer

14 December 2022

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has welcomed the swift appointment by the World Health Organization (WHO) of Dr Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu as its Chief Nursing Officer, following on from the planned departure of Elizabeth Iro from the role.

Dr Tuipulotu was formerly the Kingdom of Tonga’s Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) between 2014 and 2019, and served as its first female Minister for Health between 2019 and 2021. Since 2019 she has been an Honorary Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, Australia, and in 2022 she was appointed as a member of the WHO Executive Board.

ICN President Dr Pamela Cipriano welcomed Dr Tuipulotu to her post and offered the support of ICN in furthering the cause and the impact of nurses within the WHO and around the world. Dr Cipriano said:

“I offer my warm congratulations to Dr Tuipulotu on her appointment and look forward to meeting with her soon to discuss how ICN and WHO can continue to work together on mutually beneficial priorities that will advance the voice and contribution of nurses everywhere.

‘For many years, WHO did not have a CNO and the appointment of Ms Iro in 2017 came after a long campaign by ICN to re-establish such a role. We are therefore pleased that Dr Tuipulotu has been appointed, and that the role has been firmly embedded in the WHO hierarchy of senior staff.

‘ICN firmly believes that successful healthcare policymaking requires a commitment to having the voices of nurses heard wherever decisions are made, and that all countries should have their own government-level CNO who reports directly to the top governing executive. We will continue to campaign for this until every nation has a fully functional government-level CNO in place.”

WHO says Dr Tuipulotu will take up her post in the first quarter of 2023.

Download the press release here