Dr Takeshi Kasai

Dr Takeshi Kasai

Regional Director

About the Regional Director


Dr Takeshi Kasai began his term as WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific on 1 February 2019, following his nomination by the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific and his appointment by the WHO Executive Board.

The public health career of Dr Kasai began nearly 30 years ago when he was assigned to a remote post on the northeast coast of Japan, providing health-care services for the elderly.  His early experiences there impressed upon him  value  of building strong health systems from the ground up.  In the mid-1990s, Dr Kasai attended the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where he studied in the Department of Global Health and Development and received a master’s degree in public health.

Dr Kasai has worked for WHO for more than 15 years, and at the time of his nomination was Director of Programme Management, the No. 2 position at the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific in Manila, Philippines.  As a Technical Officer and later as the Director of the Division of Health Security at the Regional Office, he was instrumental in developing and implementing the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies, which guides  Member  States in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies.

Dr Kasai also served as the WHO Representative in Viet Nam from 2012 to 2014, and in 2014 received the For the People’s Health Medal from the Government, the top  honor  bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to public health.

Dr Kasai is from Japan.  He is married and has three daughters.

Download the official photo of Dr Takeshi Kasai


Regional Director's Report

1 July 2019 - 30 June 2020

For the future

Under the leadership of Dr Takeshi Kasai and in consultation with Member States, partners and staff, WHO in the Western Pacific Region has developed a vision for the next five years. Together, we identified four priorities that must be addressed to reach our goal: making the WHO Western Pacific Region the healthiest and safest region.


For the Future

Delivering Better Health in the Western Pacific Region

Message from the Regional Director

Member States in the Western Pacific Region have counted on WHO for more than seven decades to help solve a variety of public health challenges. Those challenges have become more complex and daunting in the current era of rapid economic, environmental and social change.

Today, people are dying younger from illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. These and other noncommunicable diseases are taking increasing tolls on ageing populations that are living longer but struggling with chronic conditions. Member States are concerned about the health impact of climate change and ever-present threats to health security from emerging diseases and natural disasters and emergencies. And too many people in this Region still cannot access affordable, safe and quality health care.

These are the challenges we must face together, for the future. They are great, but not insurmountable. And while the future will also bring new challenges, at the same time it is full of opportunity – as innovation and new technology make things possible that we couldn’t even imagine not so long ago.

WHO understands that a changing world demands that the Organization must also continue to evolve – building on accomplishments of the past while closely attuned to realities on the ground.

In an effort to confront today’s challenges – and to continue to address unfinished business such as neglected tropical diseases – we work in close collaboration with the 37 countries and areas that make up the world’s largest and most diverse region, with WHO colleagues from our global headquarters, regional office and country offices working together to provide countries and areas with the best possible support.

As Regional Director of WHO in the Western Pacific, I am committed to working together with Member States, health workers, partners and the best WHO experts from across the globe to make a real difference in the health and quality of life of the Region’s more than 1.9 billion people, as we move forward into the second decade of the 21st century.

Working for Better Health in the Western Pacific

WHO in the Western Pacific Region is guided by an unwavering principle – keep countries at the centre of everything we do. Our support is people centred and country oriented, so that it is useful to our primary partners – our Member States.