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Obama Finally Nominates PEPFAR Head

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The White House has announced the appointment of AIDS research pioneer Eric Goosby to head the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief … nearly three MONTHS after it was rumored he had been offered the job.

It’s been a surprisingly difficult task for the new White House to fill the position. Openly gay Bush Administration Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul resigned before President Obama was sworn in – but in mid-January, Dybul announced that he had been asked to rescind his resignation and stay on. Just two weeks later, the Administration asked Dybul to resign again.

At the time, it was rumored that secretary of state Hillary Clinton had already offered the job to Dr. Eric Goosby. Dr. Goosby, who is straight, has more than two decades in the field of AIDS research, and had been director of AIDS policy in Bill Clinton’s administration.

But AIDS Activists wanted more of a say in the process of selecting a new chief. Voices ranging from former ACT UP New Yorker Gregg Gonsalves to medical journal The Lancet called for a merit-based and fully transparent selection process. What they got, was three months of silence, followed by the announcement that the job has in fact been given to Goosby.

Still, many in the AIDS community are behind Goosby’s nomination. The AIDS Action Council called the appointment “superb,” and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation called him an “excellent choice.”

Goosby now moves to the Senate for confirmation.

-Aaron McQuade

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Written by OutQ News staff

April 29, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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