STATEMENT OF CHANCELLOR DENISE EBY KONAN on the Death of UH Manoa Alumnus Dr. Lee Jong-wook

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jim Manke, (808) 956-6099
UH Manoa Chancellor's Office
Posted: May 25, 2006

The university community is deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Dr. Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Lee earned his master‘s degree in public health from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa and received a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.

A 23-year veteran of the WHO, Dr. Lee was the first Korean to head a United Nations organization. He will be remembered for his efforts to eliminate polio from the Western Pacific, for battling tuberculosis, and expanding AIDS treatment in throughout the world.

Chancellor Konan joined world leaders in expressing sorrow and condolences to the Lee family:

"My heart is heavy with sadness over Dr. Lee's unexpected death. Dr. Lee had embarked on a remarkable journey from Korea to Hawaiʻi to American Samoa to Manila to Geneva. Along the way he demonstrated not only tremendous knowledge of technology, but also great leadership and political skill. He was an outstanding leader in international health and development, and we are proud to count him among our distinguished alumni. He will be greatly missed."