President Joe Biden has nominated Atul Gawande to lead global health development at the US Agency for International Development, according to Stat News.
Gawande, a surgeon, Harvard University professor, and writer for the New Yorker, previously served as chief executive of Haven, a venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase to improve healthcare while bringing down costs, before resigning in 2020. Stat News adds that, during the pandemic, Gawande co-founded CIC Health, which aims to help with COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts. He also served on Biden's COVID-19 advisory panel during the transition and, as Reuters notes, was senior advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration.
Reuters reports that Gawande's role at USAID — if he is confirmed by the Senate — will involve addressing child and maternal deaths, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and infectious diseases like COVID-19. "With more COVID deaths worldwide in the first half of 2021 than in all of 2020, I’m grateful for the chance to help end this crisis and to re-strengthen public health systems worldwide," Gawande says in a tweet.