Cesar Garrido was elected as President of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the General Assembly held virtually on October 16, 2020. In this article, Garrido talks about the goals he has for his new role, and the challenges he expects to face.
How long have you been involved with the WFH for?
I have been a volunteer with the WFH for 20 years. I’ve been a member of the WFH Board of Directors for 14 years now, over two terms. The first term was from 2002 to 2010, and the second from 2014 until now.
Why did you decide to first get involved with the WFH?
I decided to get involved with the WFH because I felt that my qualities as an entrepreneur and manager could have a positive effect on the bleeding disorders community. At one point in my career, I was encouraged to receive training in Spain with the Spanish Federation of Hemophilia (FEDHEMO), in order to learn more about developing projects, leading advocacy efforts, hosting educational conferences, and more. That point marked my true beginning as a volunteer in our community.
What made you want to become WFH President?
As a board member, I was able to offer many suggestions on how to optimize strategies. Participating at the board—and watching other Presidents bring the WFH forward—gave me an idea of what I could do if I were president.
What makes you proud to be the new WFH President?
I’m proud to be President knowing that I started humbly. holding various positions and playing various roles at the WFH, and slowly worked my way up to the position of President. I now have the opportunity to play a new role at the highest strategic level. I’m also proud that I was able to do this coming from a developing country. This is proof that anyone can be successful at the WFH no matter where you come from or what your background is.
What would you like to accomplish as WFH President?
My goal here is the same as with other Presidents: Treatment for All. I very much wish that anyone with an inherited bleeding disorder around the world can live without pain and without bleeds.
What will be the first project you will start working on?
I would like to work with the WFH team and our volunteers to execute the next strategic plan that we will develop at the WFH.
What advice would you give someone who aspires to be a WFH board member?
I have three recommendations to anyone who aspires to be a WFH board member: firstly, never give up the idea on being part of the board even if achieving it seems difficult. Secondly, make proposals that can be realistically carried out. Finally, enjoy every moment of your work for the bleeding disorders community so that you can keep at it for many years and make a real difference.
To read more about the WFH 2020 Annual Meeting of the General Assembly please click here.