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Message from the President || October 2023

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

WPA’s new President delivers her first message to the WPA community following the start of her tenure

Dear Friends,

Prof. Danuta Wasserman

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for your unwavering support of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). It is with huge gratitude and pride that I assume the role of President, entrusted with the privilege of guiding this esteemed organisation over the next triennium. Marked by unprecedented global changes, my ambition is to foster cultural competence and professional development, promoting equality, embracing diversity, and ensuring inclusion within the field of psychiatry. The field of psychiatry finds itself at a critical juncture, grappling with challenges marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturns, the increasing effects of climate change, and ongoing wars, violence, and conflicts.

As we embark on this journey, I look forward to serving as the representative of our diverse and dedicated membership. The WPA, as the global umbrella organisation for psychiatrists, bears a significant responsibility in guiding our profession through these turbulent times. Our collective efforts, expertise, and compassion will be instrumental in shaping the future of psychiatry.

Following our successful 23rd annual Congress, I am pleased that we were all able to meet and profit from such an insightful occasion. It was rewarding to have the opportunity to meet so many of our member associations in person. We held our General Assembly and elected the new WPA Executive Committee and Board, acting from October 1, 2023 through late 2026. Thank you to all the candidates for their willingness to contribute to and develop the WPA, and I hope that the WPA will gain from your energy and motivation.

Welcome and congratulations to the new WPA Executive Committee and Board:

Executive Committee:

President: Danuta Wasserman*

President-Elect: Thomas G. Schulze

Secretary General: Saul Levin

Secretary for Finance: Paul Summergrad*

Secretary for Education and Scientific Publications: Norbert Skokauskas

Secretary for Scientific Meetings: Edmond Pi*

Secretary for Scientific Sections: Armen Soghoyan

Zonal Representatives:

Zone 1. Canada Gary Chaimowitz

Zone 2. United States Bernardo Ng*

Zone 3. Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Thelma Sanchez-Villanueva*

Zone 4. South America - Northern Zone Rodrigo Nel Cordoba Rojas*

Zone 5. South America - Southern Zone Miguel Angel Cuellar Hoppe

Zone 6. Western Europe Johannes Wancata

Zone 7. Northern Europe Ramune Mazaliauskienne*

Zone 8. Southern Europe Konstantinos Fountoulakis*

Zone 9. Central Europe Igor Filipic*

Zone 10. Eastern Europe Nikolay Negay

Zone 11. Northern Africa Armine Larnaout*

Zone 12. Middle East and Central and Western Asia Mahdi Abu Madini*

Zone 13. Central and Western Africa Aida Sylla*

Zone 14. Eastern and Southern Africa Juliet Nakku*

Zone 15. South Asia Vinay Kumar

Zone 16. Southeast Asia Chawanun Charnsil

Zone 17. Eastern Asia Yong Chan Park*

Zone 18. Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Eapen Valsamma

*(Continuing from preceding triennium)

More information about the elections and successful candidates can be read here.

Thank you to our WPA Secretariat, our Professional Congress Organising partner, Kenes, and to our local World Congress of Psychiatry organising partner, the Austrian Psychiatric Association, for the excellent support you all provided.

I was also pleased that the WPA General Assembly approved my proposed Action Plan. As you know, my Action Plan for the WPA 2023-2026 aims to boost the mental health and well-being of patients, the public, and, not least of all, our own health. Put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others!

Let us unite in our commitment to provide compassionate and effective mental health care, advocate for the needs of those we serve, and work tirelessly to ensure that psychiatry remains a beacon of hope and healing for individuals and societies worldwide.

Thank you!

Prof. Danuta Wasserman


World Psychiatric Association



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