Delese Mimi Darko is a Ghanaian pharmacist. In 2017, she became the first woman to be appointed chief executive officer of the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority
In 1991, Darko graduated from the Kwame Nkuruma University of Science and Technology (KNUST), where she was trained as a pharmacist. She later obtained a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Northampton.
Darko joined the Food and Drugs Board in the early 1990s. The organization was subsequently renamed the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), and she has served there in various capacities. She has worked in every department of the institution, starting from the laboratory. She also helped in the setting up of two technical advisory committees to assist the board in their work. She was the designer of the current logo of the FDA. Darko was the lead for a collaboration between the FDA and the UK-MHRA in the area of medicine safety, which is now multi-divisional at the FDA with anti-counterfeiting as one of the key areas of support. Prior to her appointment as the chief executive officer, she was the head of Safety, Monitoring and Clinical Trial Division.
In 2020, under her leadership, the FDA was recognized as a World Health Organization Level Three listed institution.
Delese Mimi Darko was educated in Achimota Secondary School, Accra Halewood Grange in Liverpool and Oakdene School in Beaconsfield, England. She graduated with a B.Pharm (Hons) second upper class from the KNUST and has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Northampton. She is a pharmacist with over 25 years’ experience in regulation of medicines with respect to clinical trials regulation, marketing authorization and post approval safety monitoring of medicines. After graduating as a pharmacist in 1991, she did her National Service in the Police Hospital, Accra. She then worked with the then Pharmacy Board, specifically in the laboratory section, for seven years where she helped put in systems to ensure that both locally manufactured and imported drugs were analyzed for quality before they were put on the market. This was to ensure the protection of public health and safety.
In 1997, she was one of the pioneers of the newly established Food and Drugs Board, (FDB), which later became the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in 2012. In 2005 and 2006 she was instrumental in the setting up of two technical advisory committees to assist the FDB/FDA in their work. These were the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Pharmacovigilance and the Technical Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials, which comprise various renowned Ghanaians professionals with expertise in the varied fields of research, medicine and pharmacy from all around the country. She rose through the ranks of the FDB/FDA to become the Head of Department responsible for Clinical Trials and Pharmacovigilance, Drug Registration, Cosmetics, Household Chemicals and Medical Devices and Herbal Medicines.