John N. Nkengasong

Dr. John N. Nkengasong is an Ambassador at Large and serves as the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. In this role, Dr. Nkengasong oversees the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – PEPFAR; which is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, prevent millions of HIV infections, save lives, and make progress toward ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Previously, Dr. Nkengasong served as the first director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Through his leadership, a framework for transforming Africa CDC into a full autonomous health agency of the Africa Union was established. As Africa CDC director, Dr. Nkengasong also led the COVID-19 response in Africa, coordinating with heads of state and governments across the continent, among other achievements to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped secure 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines at the height of vaccine scarcity. During his tenure, he was appointed as one of the World Health Organization’s special envoys on COVID-19 preparedness and response. Dr. Nkengasong also served as acting deputy principal director of the Center for Global Health, as well as the Division of Global HIV and TB’s chief of the International Laboratory Branch at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a world-renowned public health leader, Dr. Nkengasong’s contributions to global health have been recognized by numerous prestigious awards and honors including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2020 Global Goalkeeper Award; Time Magazine, 2021 Time 100 List of Most Influential People; Fortune magazine, 2021 World’s 50 Greatest Leaders; Bloomberg, 2021 Bloomberg 50 Influential People; and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shepard Award and William Watson Medal of Excellence. In 2022, he was invited to join the National Academy of Medicine and he became the first laureate of the Virchow Prize for Global Health. Dr. Nkengasong also holds the rare honor of being knighted by the governments of Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Cameroon.

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