WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Dr. John N. Nkengasong as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally at the Department of State. The Ambassador-at-Large leads, manages, and oversees the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, prevent millions of HIV infections, save lives, and make progress towards ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. If confirmed, Dr. Nkengasong will be the first person of African origin to hold the position.

John N. Nkengasong, Nominee for Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator of United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS Globally, Department of State

John N. Nkengasong is currently the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which is a specialized technical institution of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Prior to that, Nkengasong was Acting Deputy Director, Center for Global Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and before that the Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis at the CDC. Nkengasong also served as the Associate Director for Laboratory Science, Division of Global AIDS/HIV and Tuberculosis, Center for Global Health, CDC, and Co-Chair of the PEPFAR’s Laboratory Technical Working Group. He has also served as a board member for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in New York, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, in Norway. 

Nkengasong received his B.Sc. from the Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon; his M.Sc. from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium; and his Ph.D from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Brussels, Belgium. He also received a Diploma in Leadership and Management from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, and served as one of the World Health Organization Director General’s Special Envoys for COVID-19 since 2020. He has authored or co-authored over 250 peer-review papers and book chapters in professional journals. Dr. Nkengasong is a U.S. citizen and once confirmed, would be the first person of African origin to hold the post.

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