On July 13, President Joe Biden announced 11 appointments for key roles within his administration. Among them, renowned physician Atul Gawande has been nominated as Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Global Health, United States Agency for International Development.
As per a Reuters report, a White House source said Gawande’s role at USAID would include preventing child and maternal deaths, controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combating infectious diseases.
“I’m honored to be nominated to lead global health development at USAID, including for COVID. With more COVID deaths worldwide in the first half of 2021 than in all of 2020, I’m grateful for the chance to help end this crisis and to re-strengthen public health systems worldwide,” Gawande said in a tweet.
Gawande is a professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School, besides being a Health Policy and Management professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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Gawande is the founder and chair of Ariadne Labs, a joint centre for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also the founder of an NGO called Lifebox.
Gawande has previously served as a senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration. The Indian-American physician advocates for medical reform, including cutting out “unnecessary care” like unwarranted surgeries.
Gawande, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine and author of as many as four books, was also a Biden transition COVID-19 Advisory Board member. He has been a frontline warrior amid the ongoing pandemic. He co-founded CIC Health in 2020, which is known for nationally operating Covid testing and vaccination.
“We have gone big to vaccinate the U.S. We need to undertake exactly such an effort abroad: an all-out response for an all-in global vaccination campaign,” Gawande has been quoted as saying.
“With more COVID deaths worldwide in the first half of 2021 than in all of 2020, I’m grateful for the chance to help end this crisis and to re-strengthen public health systems worldwide,” he said.
Gawande has won two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on health care, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.