UNAIDS announced on Thursday that Deborah Birx will lead the United States' international HIV efforts as ambassador-at-large and oversee the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
"Ambassador Birx is widely recognized for her passion and commitment to the AIDS response and has already made a huge impact during her sterling career," UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said. "PEPFAR is a key partner of UNAIDS and I am confident that under Ambassador Birx's visionary leadership PEPFAR will continue its extraordinary success in preventing new HIV infections and expanding access to treatment."
UNAIDS said Birx has received widespread recognition for her research on AIDS vaccines, and was awarded the U.S. Meritorious Service Medal for her contribution. Most recently, she served as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Global HIV/AIDS.
Birx reached the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army and served as director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, and director of the Division of Retrovirology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
PEPFAR supports approximately 6.7 million people globally with life-saving antiretroviral treatment. The agency also has supported HIV tested and counseling for more than 57.7 million people.