Gayle Smith named US Global Covid Coordinator

PTI Washington | Updated on April 06, 2021

Gayle Smith   -  Reuters

Biden administration ramps up efforts to combat the virus at home and abroad

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has appointed a former veteran diplomat and humanitarian aid chief to be a special envoy for US coronavirus vaccine and prevention efforts.

Blinken announced Monday that he had named Gayle Smith to be America’s Global Covid-19 Coordinator as the Biden administration ramps up its efforts to combat the virus at home and abroad.

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“She’s tested. She’s highly respected. She will hit the ground running,” Blinken said. “And I can say from having worked with Gayle and admired her for years, that no one will work harder, faster, or more effectively to get us to the finish line.”

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Smith is a former director of the US Agency for International Development and has held senior State Department and National Security Council positions focused on Africa. She was active in the Obama administration’s initiatives to eradicate the Ebola virus and was most recently the president of the ONE Campaign, the organisation founded by U2 frontman Bono and others to combat extreme poverty and diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

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In her new job, Smith will be charged with overseeing US programmes to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks, including Covid-19, abroad.

Published on April 06, 2021

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