For Release December 14, 2015
Milwaukee, USA — December 14, 2015— The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), formed in 1935 and incorporated in 1958, is a federation of 110 member societies and 4 regional associations of gastroenterology representing more than 50,000 individual members worldwide, focusing on the improvement of standards in gastroenterology training and education on a global scale. During the recent Gastro 2015: AGW/GESA-WGO International Congress, held 28 September – 2 October in Brisbane, Australia, the WGO General Assembly ratified many key leadership changes.
The WGO Executive saw several changes, the most notable of which was the handover of the Presidency. Professor James Toouli (Australia), became WGO President in 2013 and completed his two-year term in Brisbane. Professor David Bjorkman (USA), assumed the Presidency during the General Assembly, and has now begun serving his two-year term. Professor Toouli will remain on the WGO Executive as the Past President and Chair of Nominations.
The WGO General Assembly also has elected Professor Cihan Yurdaydin (Turkey) as President-Elect. As WGO President-Elect, Professor Yurdaydin will also serve as Chair of the WGO Foundation. The WGO Foundation, incorporated in 2007, is dedicated to raising funds to support WGO educational programs and activities.
The General Assembly elected Professor Naima Amrani (Morocco) as the Secretary General for WGO, and Professor Guilherme Macedo (Portugal) as Treasurer.
The WGO General Assembly approved the creation of a new Council of Chairs, which is comprised of the Executive Committee plus the following chairs: Professor Kaichun Wu (China), Chair of the Clinical Research Committee; Professor Mark Topazian (USA), Chair of the Endoscopy, Other Procedures and Outreach Interest Group; Professor Greger Lindberg (Sweden), Chair of the Guidelines Committee; Professor Douglas LaBrecque (USA), Chair of the Hepatology Interest Group; Professor Geoffrey Metz (Australia), Chair of the Scientific Programs Committee; Professor Desmond Leddin (Canada), Chair of the Training Centers Committee; and Professor Damon Bizos (South Africa), Chair of the Train the Trainers Committee.
The WGO Governing Council, the governing body of the organization, changed its structure to represent all of the key positions throughout WGO’s various committees and regions. Along with the twelve members of the Council of Chairs, the four Regional Association Chairs/Presidents sit on the Governing Council: Professor Luis Carlos Sabbagh (Colombia), representing the Pan-American Gastroenterological Association (OPGE); Professor Kentaro Sugano (Japan), representing the Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE); Professor Olusegun Ojo (Nigeria), representing the African Middle East Association of Gastroenterology (AMAGE); and Professor Joost Drenth (The Netherlands), representing the United European Gastroenterology (UEG).
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