Romanian healthcare expert Ruxandra Draghia-Akli was named to a newly created position at the top of DG Research and Innovation, as a fourth deputy director-general in the department, the European Commission has announced. She will take up the new position as of 1 September 2016.
A Romanian national, Draghia-Akli joined the directorate for research and innovation at the European Commission in 2009 where she is currently director for health and manages a team of 150 staff and €1.3 billion annually.
Draghia-Akli has a PhD in human genetics from the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences and completed a post-doctoral training at the Baylor College of Medicine in the US. Before joining the Commission she spent nearly 20 years as a medical doctor and a researcher in Romania, France and the US. Draghia-Akli was Vice-President for research at VGX Pharmaceuticals and VGX Animal Health.
This was among other staff changes announced by the Commission, including the appointment of Mario Campolargo to the informatics directorate (DG DIGIT), Charlina Vitcheva to the Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), and Carlos Alegria to the department for interpretation (DG SCIC).
A Portuguese national, Campolargo joined the European Commission in 1990. He is currently a director for future networks at the information and communications technologies directorate (DG CONNECT), managing a staff of 110 people and a portfolio of 250 active projects with a €950 million budget.
Vitcheva is from Bulgaria and she joined the Commission as director at the regional and urban policy directorate in 2009. She spent 15 years in the Bulgarian public administration and headed, between 2000 and 2004, EU accession negotiations team in the area of agriculture and rural development, food safety and fisheries.