Zsuzsanna Jakab, the top civil servant in Hungary's health ministry, was named last week the first director of the new European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Jakab, born in 1951, has spent much of her career working in state administration in Hungary, according to the Hungarian Ministry of Health's Web site. From 1991, she worked at the European regional office of the World Health Organization and since 2003 has been Titular Administrative Secretary of State in the ministry.

According to Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, Jakab has "an impressive track record in international public health, both in terms of her management skills and her political vision."

"I am sure she will provide the ECDC with the leadership it needs to start up its activities and establish its reputation," Kyprianou said in a statement.

The development of the ECDC has come under stiff...

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