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Senate Confirms Dr. Eric Goosby as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

Written By: Lori Adelman
June 22, 2009

 
Dr. Eric Goosby

Dr. Eric Goosby

Last month we blogged about President Obama’s pick for the new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, who will be in charge of overseeing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was established under President Bush. We also gave a run down of what was being said about the nomination at that time.

Well, it’s official- on Friday the Senate confirmed Dr. Goosby’s nomination.  Now it seems all eyes are on Dr. Goosby, waiting to see how his impressive credentials and extensive experience in the field will play out in this crucial U.S. Foreign Policy position, especially since PEPFAR is still relatively new, and there have only been two people in this position before. Dr. Goosby will take over the position from his predecessor, Mark Dybul, who was in charge of PEPFAR under George W. Bush since 2006, and whom some argued placed too much emphasis on abstinence-based HIV prevention programs. Before Dybul, Randall Tobias (who went on to resign in April 2007 as the director of U.S. Foreign Assistance after revealing that he had been a client of an alleged “D.C. madam’s” escort service) served as the first Global AIDS Coordinator.

As for Goosby’s leadership style, the verdict is still out. Goosby has said that he will work to continue PEPFAR’s success, and that to do so, he will “emphasize prevention,” VOA News writes. Dr. Goosby has also said that he plans to ensure that PEPFAR “continues to be a visionary program, a program that continues to exceed our expectations of what can and should be provided to people in resource-poor settings.”

Right now, it seems there is only one consensus, and that is one of hope for PEPFAR’s continued and expanded success. Many have expressed high hopes for the office and for Goosby’s success in the wake of his confirmation. The Kaiser Foundation reports, for example, that Mark Cloutier, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said in a written statement, “The world’s most vulnerable populations will benefit from Dr. Goosby’s guidance through greater access to HIV treatment and prevention programs based on sound science” (San Francisco AIDS Foundation release, 6/19).

What is your opinion of Dr. Goosby’s confirmation? What role do you see Dr. Goosby playing in the global fight against HIV/AIDS? What would you like to see Dr. Goosby achieve as the new Global AIDS Coordinator, and how would you like to see him achieve it? Do you think Dr. Goosby will have a larger or different impact on the HIV/AIDS epidemic globally than his predecessors? Comment and let us know.

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