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Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health Program Announces PEPFAR Working Group

Washington, DC – As the United States celebrates the 20th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health Program announces a new PEPFAR Working Group to shine a light on PEPFAR’s impact on global public health and encourage conversations in the lead up to its anticipated reauthorization later this year. 

PEPFAR was announced on January 28, 2003, during then-President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address. Since then, over 25 million lives have been saved worldwide and PEPFAR remains among the world’s most successful global health programs and an outstanding example of strategic health diplomacy. However, renewed efforts are necessary to continue fighting the HIV and AIDS epidemic. 

“The ongoing impact of PEPFAR is monumental. The program saves lives around the world, while exemplifying the constructive impact of investments in global health. PEPFAR, from day one, has been widely bipartisan in support and scope,” said former Senate Majority Leader and BPC Senior Fellow Dr. Bill Frist, who will serve as a co-chair of the working group.    

Fellow co-chair, former Senate Majority Leader, and BPC Co-Founder Tom Daschle added: “Despite the astounding progress made in the global fight against HIV and AIDS, our work is far from over. Where disease still exists, so does the opportunity to improve lives and livelihoods. America must continue to fulfill our PEPFAR commitments.” 

Members of the bipartisan working group include: 

  • Crystal Cazier, Deputy Director, Global Health, George W. Bush Institute  
  • Igor Khrestin, Managing Director, Global Policy, George W. Bush Institute 
  • Chris Collins, President, Friends of the Global Fight 
  • Gary Edson, President, COVID Collaborative 
  • Tom Hart, President, ONE Campaign 
  • Jeni Healy, Senior Director, Abbott Labs 
  • Micheal Ighodaro, Director of Global Policy Advocacy, Prevention Access Campaign 
  • Dr. Jen Kates, Senior Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy, KFF 
  • Mary-Sumpter Lapinski, Vice President of Global Government Affairs, Greenwich Biosciences 
  • Dr. Daniela Ligiero, Executive Director and CEO, Together for Girls 
  • Dr. Jirair Ratevosian, Senior Advisor, Health Equity Policy, PEPFAR   
  • Algene Sajery, Principal, Catalyst Global Strategies 

The working group will also receive support from Dr. Charles Holmes, a longtime global health leader and director of Georgetown University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health. Previously, Holmes served as chief medical officer and deputy U.S. global AIDS coordinator for PEPFAR at the State Department and as CEO of the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia. He recently served as co-chair of the WHO Global Working Group for HIV Service Quality. 

Starting this spring and summer, the working group will host two public events to celebrate PEPFAR’s longstanding bipartisan accomplishments and discuss the continued value of the program.