Back to Top
World Gastroenterology Organisation
World Gastroenterology Organisation

For Release December 22, 2017

World Gastroenterology Organisation Announces New 2017-2019 Leadership

Milwaukee, USA — December  22, 2017— 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. WGO’s mission is to promote, to the general public and healthcare professional alike, an awareness of the worldwide prevalence and optimal care of gastrointestinal and liver disorders, and to improve care of these disorders, through the provision of high quality, accessible and independent education and training. During the recent World Congress of Gastroenterology (WCOG) at ACG2017, held 13-18 October in Orlando, Florida, the WGO General Assembly ratified its 2017 Statutes and By-Laws as well as many key leadership changes.

About the New Executive

The WGO Executive enacted several changes during the WGO General Assembly meeting on Tuesday, 17 October, with the most notable being the handover of the WGO Presidency. Professor David Bjorkman (USA), became WGO President in 2015 and completed his two-year term in Orlando, Florida. Professor Cihan Yurdaydin (Turkey), assumed the WGO Presidency during the General Assembly, and has now begun serving his two-year term. Professor Yurdaydin will also serve on the WGO Foundation Board of Directors as Past-Chair of the WGO Foundation. Professor Bjorkman will remain on the WGO Executive as the Past President and Chair of Nominations. Professor James Toouli, 2015-2017 Past President and Chair of Nominations was congratulated for his many years of dedication and work serving on the Governing Council.

The WGO General Assembly elected Professor Naima Amrani (Morocco) as WGO President-Elect. As WGO President-Elect, Professor Amrani will also serve on the WGO Foundation Board of Directors 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 Geoffrey Metz (Australia) as the Secretary General for WGO, and Professor Guilherme Macedo (Portugal) will continue as Treasurer for the 2017-2019 term.

About the New Council of Chairs

The WGO General Assembly approved the membership of the new Council of Chairs for the 2017-2019 term, which is comprised of the Executive Committee plus the following chairs: Professor Desmond Leddin (Canada), 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 Saeed Hamid (Pakistan), Chair of the Hepatology Interest Group; Professor Carolina Olano (Uruguay), Chair of the Scientific Programs Committee; Professor Finlay Macrae (Australia), Chair of the Training Centers Committee; and Professor Jean-Christophe Saurin (France), Chair of the Train the Trainers Committee. The appointed Councilors at Large for the 2017-2019 term are Professor Alejandro Piscoya (Peru), Chair, Publications Committee, and Professor Kaichun Wu (China), Promotion of Education in Asia-Pacific Region, who also serve on the Council of Chairs.

About the New Governing Council

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 and the Councilors at Large, four Regional Association Chairs/Presidents also sit on the Governing Council. The four Regional Association Chairs/Presidents that will sit on the Governing Council for the 2017-2019 term are: Professor José Roberto de Almeida (Brazil), representing the Pan-American Gastroenterological Association (OPGE); Professor Kentaro Sugano (Japan), representing the Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE); Professor Reda Elwakil (Egypt), representing the African Middle East Association of Gastroenterology (AMAGE); and Professor Luigi Ricciardiello (Italy), representing the United European Gastroenterology (UEG).


For more information, press only:

WGO Secretariat, +1 (414) 918-9798,

For more information on WGO and its Foundation: