U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Asked to Stay on Past Inauguration
By Ceci Connolly
President Bush's Gobal AIDS czar is keeping his post in the Obama administration -- at least for now.
Amb. Mark Dybul, the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator, informed his staff via email Friday that he was asked to stay on for an indeterminate length of time.
Earlier speculation had Nils Daulaire, president and CEO of the Global Health Council, as a top contender for the post.
Dybul, an openly gay physician, has overseen the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. Some reproductive rights and AIDS advocates have complained that the international relief program has been hampered by the president's more conservative social views.
In December, the International Women's Health Coalition, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, and Results, an anti-poverty and global health organization, wrote letters to the Obama transition team urging him to make selecting a leader for the global AIDS fight a priority or give it new direction.
In her blog posting on RH Reality Check, activist Jodi Jacobson bemoaned the prospect of Dybul remaining in the ambassadorial-level post. She charges that Dybul has been slow to push for expanded prevention efforts and is close to conservative pastor Rev. Rick Warren.
Here's Dybul's note to colleagues:
From: Dybul, Mark R
To: SGAC _Staff
Sent: Fri Jan 09 20:12:01 2009
I wanted to let you know that I have been asked to rescind my resignation so I will be continuing in the coordinator position beyond the inauguration.
Look forward to our continuing work together.
Have a great weekend.
Posted at 5:47 PM ET on Jan 12, 2009
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