Eric Goosby has been nominated as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, the White House announced earlier this week.
Goosby, a former Clinton administration AIDS official, is taking over the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or Pepfar. The program is responsible for distributing money approved by Congress for AIDS relief and is considered one of the Bush administration's successes.
Goosby is a professor at the University of California-San Francisco and the chief executive and chief medical officer of the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting the spread of AIDS. He has more than 25 year experience confronting HIV/AIDS and has worked around the world.
During the Clinton administration, he was the director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as deputy director of the White House National AIDS Policy Office. He replaced Bush appointee Mark Dybul, who faced criticism for promoting abstinence as a means for fighting AIDS.
Some AIDS advocacy groups have been critical of President Barack Obama for what they consider to be his lack of attention to the disease. The Global AIDS Alliance praised Goosby's appointment but said the White House had to renew its commitment to Pepfar.
"It is crucial that President Obama ensures that Dr. Goosby has the capability and full support of the Administration in order to effectively lead this landmark lifesaving global AIDS program and that we do not squander the steady progress that PEPFAR has already made in the global fight against AIDS," the group said. "Such support would include honoring Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign pledge of funding for the global AIDS program in the amount of at least $50 billion by 2013-a pledge that may have moved off the President's short list amidst growing global and economic crises."