Management Sciences for Health Welcomes the Nomination of Dr. John Nkengasong to Lead PEPFAR

Arlington, VA—Management Sciences for Health (MSH) applauds and supports President Biden’s recent announcement of his intent to nominate Dr. John Nkengasong as Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator of the United States President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—the largest activity by any nation to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The critical position has been vacant since before President Biden took office, as the previous coordinator, Dr. Debra Birx, left to join the White House coronavirus task force in February 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted access to HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services, and it has affected the supply chain of medicines and commodities that are essential to stop the spread of HIV,” said MSH President and CEO Marian W. Wentworth. “We cannot afford further delays in solidifying leadership for PEPFAR and urge Congress to move quickly to confirm Dr. Nkengasong to this key position.”

Dr. Nkengasong is currently the Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to that, he 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 US CDC. Dr. 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.

The PEPFAR program is one of the greatest commitments by any country to address a single disease, saving more than 20 million lives since launching in 2003. 

MSH has been a longtime partner of PEPFAR, having implemented numerous programs in more than 30 countries since the program’s inception. Learn more about MSH’s HIV and AIDS work here.