The Union's new President speaks about the challenges with funding, the need to build The Union’s reputation as the leading voice on tuberculosis and lung disease, and his desire to grow The Union’s membership and strengthen both conferences and journals.
Earlier this month, at the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health, in Hyderabad, India, The Union welcomed new President, Professor Guy B Marks.
As a respiratory physician, epidemiologist, researcher and public health physician, Prof Marks has worked in respiratory medicine for almost 40 years. The major focus of his research interest is lung health with specific focus on airway diseases, air pollution and tuberculosis (TB). He also has a strong commitment to capacity building for lung health research.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Union World Conference, Prof Marks paid tribute to his predecessors and outlined the challenges facing The Union. He spoke about new approaches to funding, the need to build The Union’s reputation as the leading voice on TB and lung disease, and his desire to grow The Union’s membership and strengthen both conferences and journals.
Prof Marks went on to set out his vision for how The Union can meet these challenges, highlighting the need for a “set of strategic goals that will guide us towards our mission, and help us to stay true to our values” and a new business model to help secure the financial future of the organisation, as well as reforming The Union’s governance framework.
Part of Prof Marks’ vision for The Union is in providing strategic leadership; he stressed the need for the organisation to reassert its “role as the principal global forum for informing, influencing and shaping efforts in the sphere of TB and lung health.”
As President, Prof Marks also hopes “to make membership of The Union more rewarding and meaningful” through webinars, improvements to the conference, two new Editors-in-Chief at International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD), the re-vitalisation of regional conferences, and engaging members in The Union's strategic leadership in TB and lung disease.
Having been involved with The Union for 30 years, including Editor in Chief of the IJTLD since 2012, it is in his role as Union President where Prof Marks hopes to make his biggest constribution, “I would like to have a role in enhancing the culture of The Union, as a values-based organisation that is respected and admired by all who engage with us.
“It is an immense privilege to serve as President of our remarkable organisation, and to contribute in this new capacity to the effort to tackle the problem of TB and lung disease worldwide.”