PEPFAR Celebrates: #SecKerry Swears In #AmbBirx

Last Friday, Secretary Kerry swore in Deborah L. Birx, MD as Coordinaror for the US' global effort for an #AIDSFreeGen. Leadership from across the HIV/AIDS community joined and echoed #SecKerry's words, "Debbi embodies the best of what it means to be a pioneer, a practitioner, and a public servant."


  1. Here's a look at the celebration and excerpts of the remarks:
  2. Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks at the Swearing-In of Ambassador-at-Large Birx
  3. Excerpts from Secretary Kerry's Remarks:
  4. "In the 1990s, Debbi helped develop the Thai vaccine trial, which was the first clinical HIV/AIDS research to show real potential. And by the 1990s, we in Congress had graduated from a fear and a paralysis to some degree and even a politicization to a certain degree. We were able then to put AIDS into a sentence: “AIDS in Africa.” ...And when said – AIDS in Africa – it was still a looming death sentence for a continent at that time. And thank God people like Debbi and Jim and Nancy and a lot of other people decided that was simply unacceptable.." #SecKerry
  5. "In 1998, Debbi was serving as the director of our military’s HIV Research Program at Walter Reed. And that same year, Bill Frist and I joined together on a comprehensive HIV/AIDS bill that actually laid the foundation for what become PEPFAR." #SecKerry

  6. "And in 2007, Debbi was director of the CDC and Prevention Division of Global HIV/AIDS. And 2007 happened also to be the year that my wife and I traveled to South Africa and went to the Umgeni School in Durban, South Africa. And I met young kids, in their early teens, who had become, because of the death rate, caretakers for a family, and in many cases caretakers for an older aunt or grandmother or somebody else who had contracted AIDS." #SecKerry
  7. "The truth is all of you know Debbi’s the perfect person to take on this job because we need somebody who can act with urgency. This is urgent.  And because beating AIDS means demanding concerted action from all of us." #SecKerry
  8. Excerpts from Ambassador Birx's Remarks:
  9. "Time after time, our leaders have refused to take no or the comment that it could be impossible for an answer and instead pushed us to even greater heights." #AmbBirx
  10. "PEPFAR – and at the very heart of the AIDS response, it has always been about people, people who do the work, people who make the work possible, and most importantly, the people we serve. " #AmbBirx
  11. "PEPFAR has brought together the best and the brightest of the U.S. Government and all it has to offer with a whole-of-government approach with a common goal. To be able to work beside the Department of State, USAID, Department of Defense, HHS, Peace Corps, Labor, and Commerce and bring together that strength and intellect every day to address such an incredible disease and ability to fight it has been such an inspiration for me." #AmbBirx
  12. Secretary Kerry Swears in Ambassador Birx
    Secretary Kerry Swears in Ambassador Birx
  13. "PEPFAR has also taken groundbreaking scientific discovery from the bench through the policies and into the field for rapid implementation and scale-up from the very beginning. And many people in this room were responsible for that." #AmbBirx
  14. "So as we focus our collective energies and assets to deliver on the challenge that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have put before us and a world that is possible to achieve an AIDS-free generation, we must always keep this in the perspective that we can move forward. Together we have made the impossible possible. And now we must come together to do it again. And it’s because of you all and everybody who has supported me that I am really excited but deeply humbled to assume this role." #AmbBirx
  15. Read more!