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World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) News and Events

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Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: January 2020 - Volume 54 - Issue 1 - p 1
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001293
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Professor Naima Lahbabi-Amrani was elected as the 2019-2021 President of WGO by the General Assembly during the World Congress of Gastroenterology in Istanbul, Turkey on September 23, 2019. Prof. Lahbabi-Amrani is the first woman to hold this position and also the first President from Africa and Middle East.

Prof. Lahbabi-Amrani is a Prof. of Medicine at the University Mohammed V and also faculty of medicine and pharmacy in Rabat, Morocco. She is also the Director of the WGO Rabat Training Center, one of WGO’s oldest centers.

Prof. Lahbabi-Amrani is an Honorary President of the Pan-Arab Association of Gastroenterology. She is a Governing Council Member of AMAGE (African-Middle Eastern Association of Gastroenterology), a Governing Council Member of the Pan-Arab Society of Gastroenterology, and a Governing Council Member of the Moroccan Society of Gastroenterology. She is a Founding Member of the AAFFCHGE, called since November 2017, the SAHGE (Société Africaine d’Hépato-Gastro-entérologie et d’Endoscopie digestive). She is member of numerous gastroenterology societies and associations.

Prof. Lahbabi-Amrani serves as a hepatologist and gastroenterologist. She is graduated from Paris VII Medical University. She holds a master’s degree in Human Biology with a focus on Physiology and Functional Digestive Exploration from Claude Bernard University-Lyon, France.

She has served as the Head of the Hepato-Gastroenterology Department at CHU Ibn Sina-Rabat; the Associate Dean of Research and cooperation at the Rabat Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, President of the Moroccan Society of Gastroenterology (SMMAD), and President of the Pan-Arab Association of Gastroenterology. She was an Executive Member of ASNEMGE.

Prof. Lahbabi-Amrani has served on both the Governing Council and Executive Committee as Scientific Program Committee Chair (2009-2015); Secretary General (2015-2017); WGOF Chair (2017-2019) and President-elect (2017-2019). She has additionally, served on several WGO committees as Member of the Training Centers Committee (2001-present); Member of the Train the Trainers Committee (2013-2019); Member of the Finance Committee (2015-2019); Member of the Nominations Committee (2009-2013); and Member of the WDHD Committee (2012 and 2018-Present).

She is an honorary member for rendered services to AAFFCHGE (Association d’Afrique Francophone de Formation Continue en Hépato-Gastroentérologie).

She has received royal decoration from the throne to the order of the Knight.

“My aim is to follow the lead of those who have served in this position. I hope to continue their efforts. This can allow us to benefit from their experience and wisdom. During my presidency, I have three main objectives: to attract more young physicians as well as encourage females to serve on WGO committees to have more impact in the global community, and increase efforts toward growing our membership in Africa as well as in all parts of the world. This will help to raise our position as the global guardian of digestive health. However, this cannot be done without the commitment, support and confidence of all of you (the new Governing Council, our member societies and regional affiliate associations). We are a Big Family with only One Voice to reflect the mission of WGO,” said Prof. Lahbabi-Amrani.


Ratified during the WGO General Assembly meeting on Monday, September 23 were the following leadership appointments, with the most notable being the handover of the WGO Presidency to Prof. Naima Lahbabi-Amrani. Prof. Cihan Yurdaydin (Turkey) is now Past President and Chair of Nominations; Prof. Guilherme Macedo (Portugal) is now WGO President-Elect and Chair of the WGO Foundation; Prof. Geoffrey Metz (Australia) continues as Secretary General; and Prof. Mark Topazian (USA) will begin his first term as Treasurer for the 2019-2021 term.

Additional members of the Governing Council are as follows: Prof. Desmond Leddin (Canada), Chair of the Clinical Research Committee; Prof. Andrew Veitch (UK), Chair of the Endoscopy, Other Procedures and Outreach Interest Group; Prof. David Armstrong (Canada), Chair of the Guidelines Committee; Prof. Saeed Hamid (Pakistan), Chair of the Hepatology Interest Group; Prof. Carolina Olano (Uruguay), Chair of the Scientific Programs Committee; Prof. Finlay Macrae (Australia), Chair of the Training Centers Committee; and Prof. Jean-Christophe Saurin (France), Chair of the Train the Trainers Committee. The Councilors at Large are Prof. Alejandro Piscoya (Peru), Chair, Publications Committee, and Prof. Kaichun Wu (China), Promotion of Education in Asia-Pacific Region. The four Regional Association Presidents/Representatives are: Prof. Eduardo Gutierrez Galiana (Uruguay), Pan-American Gastroenterological Association (OPGE); Prof. Daiming Fan (China), Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (APAGE); Prof. Axel Dignass (Germany), representing the United European Gastroenterology (UEG); and Prof. Reda Elwakil (Egypt) African Middle East Association of Gastroenterology (AMAGE).

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