Published: July 15, 2024

Announcing the Incoming Leadership of the International Advisory Board

Hector de la Garza-Hesles, MD, from Mexico, and Cem Meco, MD, from Turkey, have been appointed as the 2024–2025 and 2025–2026 IAB Chairs-Elect of the IAB, respectively.

The International Advisory Board (IAB) is pleased to share that Hector de la Garza-Hesles, MD, from Mexico, has been appointed to serve as the 2024–2025 IAB Chair-Elect. Cem Meco, MD, from Turkey, will follow Dr. de la Garza and serve as the 2025–2026 IAB Chair-Elect. 

The IAB works to support the Academy’s vision to be the global leader in optimizing quality ear, nose, and throat patient care.

Hector de la Garza-Hesles, MD, and Cem Meco, MDHector de la Garza-Hesles, MD, and Cem Meco, MD

We express our deep gratitude to the current IAB leadership, 2023–2024 Chair Piotr Skarżyński, MD, PhD, MSc, from Poland, and Titus Sunday Ibekwe, MD, MBBS, from Nigeria. Dr. Ibekwe will assume the chair position in October, following the AAO-HNSF 2024 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO.

Keep reading to learn more about incoming leaders, Drs. de la Garza-Hesles and Meco.

Hector de la Garza-Hesles, MDHector de la Garza-Hesles, MDHector de la Garza-Hesles, MD, is a Mexican otolaryngologist with a special interest in rhinology. He has been an international member of the Academy for almost 30 years.

He completed his residency and postgraduate studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and began his professional career at the Hospital Español de México in Mexico City. He was one of the founders of the Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery Residency Program at the latter in 1985. Over the last 25 years, he has been practicing at the Hospital Ángeles de las Lomas, in Mexico City, where he is the head of the Department of Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery. 

Some of the highlights of his professional and academic activities include acting as a professor and director of the Rhinology and Facial Plastic Surgery Fellowship at the Hospital Ángeles de las Lomas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, teaching more than 20 international courses and lectures (in Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic), teaching more than 100 courses in Mexico, authoring 24 papers, co-authoring six books, acting as author-editor for the textbook Manual Clínico de Otorrinolaringología (A Clinical Manual of Otorhinolaryngology), serving on the editorial board of the journal Anales de Otorrinolaringología Mexicana Cirugía de Cabeza y Cuello (the Mexican Annals of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery) since 2005, and being an international member of the American Rhinological Society.

As mentioned, he has been involved with the Academy as an international member for nearly 30 years (since 1996). His involvement has also included being an International Board member of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (since 2016) and OTO Open (2019–2021). He has also served as a member of the IAB (since 2016) and was a member of the Academy’s Pan-American Committee (2016–2019). He has given lectures at the 2020 AAO-HNS Annual Meeting [“Management of Endoscopic Sinus and Skull Base Surgery Complications” and “Pearls in Sinus Surgery an Expert Approach” (in Spanish)] and served as a roundtable panelist on global health and COVID-19. He was also a member of the Academic Program Committee for the 2022 Pan American Congress of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery organized by the AAO-HNSF. Finally, he has organized joint events and international courses between the AAO-HNSF and the Mexican Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery over the past six years.

His vision as Chair-elect for the IAB is to improve communication between the AAO-HNS/F and the rest of the otorhinolaryngological world in order to better understand needs in research, teaching, and assistance programs. Further, he aims to enhance International Joint Meetings with combined faculty from the Academy and other societies to enable increased knowledge exchange between the Academy and other societies across the globe.

Cem Meco, MDCem Meco, MDCem Meco, MD, is a professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Ankara University in Turkey as well as at Salzburg Paracelsus Medical University in Austria. He is the current President and Chair of the European Board Examination in Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, for which he has been serving as an examiner and board member for over a decade. He had the honor of being the President of the Confederation of European Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery between 2019 and 2022, which is the leading umbrella organization representing our specialty in Europe. He continues to serve on the Presidential Council of the Confederation. He also serves various positions with other international and national societies, including on the executive boards of the European and Turkish Skull Base Societies and the advisory boards of UEMS-ORL Section and European Rhinologic Society, as well as on the Academy’s International Steering Committee.

After receiving his medical degree from Ankara University, Turkey, Dr. Meco carried out his residency in Salzburg, Austria under the guidance of Professor Dr. Klaus Albegger, where he further continued to work for several years and had advanced training on otology-neurotology, cochlear implantation, skull base surgery, as well as rhinology and advanced sinus surgery. He is a board-certified fellow in Europe.

While continuing to be a faculty member in Salzburg to date, starting in 2004, he also became a faculty member at Ankara University, where he established the cochlear implant program, enhanced the skull base team with endoscopic techniques. From 2015 to 2018, served as the Chair until he became the President of the Confederation.

He is the author or co-author of many published papers and book chapters, as well as a worldwide invited faculty at various congresses, seminars, webinars and dissection courses. He has given numerous presentations and lectures throughout his career.

Among his many society memberships, he is also an honorary member of the Austrian and Hungarian Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Societies, a member of the Turkish, German (corresponding), Balkan and Danube (honorary) Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Societies; the European, Turkish, American and Bulgarian (Honorary) Rhinologic Societies, the European Academy of Otology-Neurotology and the European, German and Turkish Skull Base Societies, as well as “the collegium,” CORLAS.

During his tenure as the President of the Confederation of European Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, he has been a leading figure in raising the awareness of the Confederation globally and in Europe. He has also played a fundamental role in the foundation of the Young Confederation and European Training Platform, which started its first activities at CEORL Academy meetings.

His involvement with the AAO-HNSF dates to 1998 when he became a member during his time at Weill Cornell Medical College as an exchange resident. Since then, he has been a regular attendee of the Academy Annual Meeting, delivering various presentations. During his presidency of the Confederation, he was one of the key figures in fostering a closer relationship between the Academy and the Confederation. This resulted in the Confederation becoming an an International Corresponding Society to the Academy and reciprocally the Academy becoming a Co-opted Society to the Confederation. The welcome formalization of ties helped to solidify an organic relationship that will bring both societies closer and will hopefully lead to joint projects together in the future.

Since 2022, he has been also serving as member-at-large of the Academy’s International Steering Committee, as well as serving as an Editorial Board member of OTO Open for several years. During the last year, he has contributed twice as an invited speaker to the Academy’s highly popular Global Grand Rounds webinar series.

In his term as the IAB Chair, he envisions contributing, supporting and helping to further enhance the Academy’s existing programs and events on the global platform, but also continuing to bring both sides of the Atlantic even closer. These efforts will hopefully lead to opportunities to join forces to create allied initiatives for the overall development of our specialty worldwide.

More from July 2024 – Vol. 43, No. 7