Memo to Dr. Eric Goosby: Several hundred people in Windhoek wish you were here at the HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting.
Goosby, who has been nominated by President Obama to be the next US global AIDS coordinator, yesterday had his confirmation hearing in the US Senate. There’s no timetable yet on his confirmation vote.
Ever since Obama abruptly dismissed Mark Dybul as global AIDS coordinator early this year, the organization has been led by several veterans in PEPFAR headquarters, led by Thomas Walsh. But they have deferred on several key decisions until Dybul’s replacement was in place.
“It’s a shame he’s not here,’’ said one veteran PEPFAR official, who, like others interviewed about Goosby, spoke only on condition of anonymity. “It would have saved him a year of travel just to be here to meet people and learn about the status of programs.”
Said another, a bit dreamily, “What do you think – could the Senate confirm him tomorrow? Then he could fly in for the last day of the conference. That would be a movie moment.”