Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty, is likely to get the nod to lead the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which is tasked with studying and making recommendations on HIV/AIDS prevention and research, and distribution of services for people living with AIDS.
Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference that she intended to appoint Gayle to chair President Obama's council. Once the nomination is made, no confirmation hearing will be required.
"Dr. Gayle is an internationally acclaimed leader with a long history of working to end the epidemic both around the world and here at home in the United States," said Secretary Sebelius. "We are hopeful that the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, under her leadership, will serve a platform to share our plans and insights with the public health community and the public and serve as a vehicle to carry their ideas and input back to the Administration."
The White House issued the following biographical information on Dr. Gayle:
Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of CARE USA, and is an internationally recognized expert on health, global development, and humanitarian issues. Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS, in a variety of roles involving research, programs, and policy. She was appointed as the first director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. On assignment from the CDC, Dr. Gayle also served as the AIDS coordinator and chief of the HIV/AIDS division for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Gayle then directed the HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she was responsible for programs related to HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, reproductive health issues, and tuberculosis. In April 2006, she joined CARE, an international humanitarian organization with programs in nearly 70 countries to end poverty. Dr. Gayle earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. She is board certified in pediatrics, completing a residency in pediatric medicine at the Children's Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She has been honored with awards from Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Cable Positive, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill, the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, and the U.S. Public Health Service, among others. She holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Emory University School of Medicine.