WONCA's New Secretariat

February, 2021

Dear colleagues, members and collaborators,
Dear WONCA family,

2021 marks the beginning of a new chapter in the history of WONCA, with the arrival of the new Secretariat based in Brussels, Belgium.

Our new team, incorporated since last November, is headed by Dr Harris Lygidakis as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Dr Garth Manning. Harris holds a medical degree from the University of Bologna. He qualified as a family doctor in the Region of Emilia-Romagna in 2010, where he worked as a locum until 2016. Recently, he obtained a PhD from the University of Luxembourg.

As part of his background at WONCA, Dr Lygidakis was part of the Vasco da Gama Movement and acted as Honorary Secretary in WONCA Europe. As the new CEO, he will work on strategic plans to engage our members and reach our younger colleagues and the broader primary health care community, while supporting the organisation leadership. 

Our additional members are Andrea Zard, who will serve as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and Maria Dolores Zavala, in charge of communication and public relations.

Andrea holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs and another one in Translation Studies. She has extensive experience in foreign affairs, project management and consultancy, with more than a decade working for multiple global organisations. 

Our CAO is the main point of contact and will be managing and engaging with WONCA’s Members Organisations, Working Groups and individuals. She will also be in charge of the day-to-day organisation of WONCA, coordinating all the Secretariat’s matters, guaranteeing its effective operation. 

On her side, Maria Dolores holds two Master’s Degrees in communication and has more than 12 years of experience in digital media. She will be in charge of the Communication Strategy, developing and implementing WONCA’s global media engagement plans and PR actions to promote and spread our mission globally. Maria Dolores will also be the new WONCA News and website editor.

As the new Secretariat, we are now the centre of operations and primary point of interconnection with our multiple regions, fostering positive relationships with representatives and member organisations and leading strategic development under the President's direction, the Executive Committee, and our World Council. 

The endurance of WONCA's mission in this new era would not have been possible without the hard work and support of the team in Bangkok and former WONCA Editor, Dr Karen Flegg, to whom we extend our most sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude.

This continuity has become one of our most crucial priorities. We have already been working on new ways to improve our membership management, and in a few weeks’ time we will share important updates and new ways to connect with us. For now, we kindly ask you to take note of our new contact address: [email protected]

Within this new stage, multiple changes and updates in WONCA activities will take place, and will be our mission, as the new Secretariat team, to keep everyone promptly informed about the opportunities to come. 

We are looking forward to this journey, full of inspiration and opportunities!


The WONCA Secretariat Team