Rice to Replace Donilon in the Top National Security Post: As senior director for African affairs, and then assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Clinton administration, Susan Rice was credited with pushing for a strong U.S. response to the global AIDS epidemic. In her current role as American ambassador to the United Nations she has pushed to redouble efforts to defeat the epidemic and to recognize the rights of sexual minorities. So, at a time when the link between national security and global health is being increasingly recognized, international HIV and TB response advocates will watch Rice’s next steps with interest, as the Obama administration names her to replace outgoing national security adviser Tom Donilon. The administration also is expected to name Samantha Power, currently with the National Security Council, as Rice’s replacement at the U.N. Power, a strong voice on human rights issues, also has demonstrated insight on issues propelling global AIDS efforts, including as the author of this 2003 New Yorker Letter from South Africa,
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, “one of the Senate’s great champions for public health”: Global health advocates, including Global AIDS Coordinator Amb. Eric Goosby, are recognizing the legacy of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who died Monday at 89. The five-term Senator remained dedicated to a just and effective global health response throughout his legislative career, celebrating International Women’s Day in 2012 by calling for the permanent repeal of the “Global Gag Rule.”
Michael Riggs, leaving “millions of lives who will never know” of, but were saved by his efforts to expand the United States response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in some of the most impoverished places on earth, died at 42 on May 24. A former policy adviser to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), he helped build the legislative responses that became the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as PEPFAR. He continued his global health advocacy with the World Health Organization, The Robert F. Kennedy Center, and was a co-founder of the Global AIDS Alliance in 2001. “Michael Riggs had a giant heart and a clear vision for justice that transformed the global response to HIV/AIDS and brought health to millions of people around the world,” Paul Zeitz, of Act V The End of AIDS, and co-founder of the Global AIDS Alliance said Wednesday. “Michael is and always will be a beacon of inspiration and hope for those fighting for health justice around the world.” In Washington, DC, a memorial celebration of his life will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13 at Buboys and Poets.