State Magazine January 2014 : Page 21

increased bilateral and multilateral health support from countries with stronger economies. While leading the U.S. Mission in Mozambique, Ambassador Rowe recalled, “We signed a trilateral agreement committing Mozambique, the United States and Brazil to cooperate on health and food security—a strong example of participation by an emerging economy. Having served in Brazil when it was an aid recipient, it’s gratifying to see this evolution, where they first exerted leadership in protecting the health of their own citizens and now are able to extend assistance to Lusophone nations in Africa.” S/GHD’s team of 12 includes Foreign Service and Civil Service generalists and specialists, contractors, interns and detailees. Team members have expertise in global health and diplomacy, while Ambassador Rowe has experience in both fields. As deputy chief of mission in Kenya and ambassador in Papua New Guinea and Mozambique, she led country health teams and represented the United States at the highest diplomatic levels. Senior Communications Advisor Warren “Buck” Buckingham has worked for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), USAID, State and the Peace Corps during the past 23 years; Senior Science and Policy Advisor Dr. Jason Bowman joined the Department two years ago from the National Institutes of Health to join the president’s Global Health Initiative team and HHS detailee Dr. Elana Clarke brings an academic and interagency perspective. U.S. Responds to World Health Crisis Worldwide, nearly 2,000 children die daily from diarrheal diseases associated with lack of hygiene, sanitation and safe water. In those same 24 hours, approximately 800 women will die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. A full 3.3 billion people—half of the world’s population—are at risk of malaria. And despite great progress in expanding access to care, prevention and treatment, more than 2.5 million new HIV infections occurred in 2011. In direct response, the Obama administration with strong bipartisan support from Congress is working toward the goals of creating an AIDS-free generation and ending preventable child and maternal deaths. Both goals include a strong focus on women and girls, as affirmed in the principles of the Global Health Initiative. Secretary of State John Kerry has made the State Department’s commitment clear. Speaking at the University of Virginia in February 2013, he said: “We seek to reduce maternal mortality, eradicate polio, and protect people from malaria, tuberculosis and pandemic influenza because we know these diseases don’t discriminate by nationality, and we believe that relieving preventable suffering doesn’t need a justification. And I think that’s part of our values.” The office’s senior advisor for Strategy and Communications, Warren “Buck” Buck-ingham, speaks to the 2011 Caribbean Regional AIDS Conference in The Bahamas. State Department photo Career diplomats on the team include Deputy Director Liz Jordan, Public Diplomacy Officer Sheila Weir and Foreign Service Officers Howell “Hal” Howard, Scott Edelman and Steve Murphy. The team is rounded−out by Special Assistant Seifa Hauptmann, Communications Specialist Mark Giambrone and intern Claudette Rhone. Steve Murphy, a political officer with a previous career in public health, said he “found the right match in the Office of Global Health Diplomacy. I was looking for a mission-driven office with a spirit of innovation, and GHD has a bold vision of how we can use U.S. diplomacy to dramatically improve the world.” The office is organized into two teams. S/GHD’s Sustainability and Shared Responsibility team works primarily on external engagement. Earlier this year, it collaborated with the World Bank Group to host the Africa Health Forum, which brought together ministers of health and finance from more than 20 sub-Saharan nations to meet with all major donors in the sector. The group discussed increased and more effective investment in health, and now our embassies are working with these countries to drive results. More recently, the team worked with IO to convene interagency meetings on maximizing technical and programmatic returns on the more than $2 billion the United States invests annually in multilateral institutions such as World Health Orgnization, the World Bank, Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiatives (GAVI) and the Global Fund. The team also has worked closely with S/GAC to promote contributions to the Global Fund, and will provide diplomatic support to the 2014 funding replenishment for GAVI. The Office’s Institutionalizing Health Diplomacy team focuses more internally, organizing interagency briefings on U.S. health priorities for ambassadors, deputy chiefs of mission and other Department leaders. In just six months, S/GHD hosted nearly 40 briefings with Department principals who were embarking for countries with significant U.S. health interests. In this busy first year, the team initiated a speakers series and has worked with the Foreign Service Institute to incorporate health diplomacy throughout its curriculum and co-sponsor the Global Health Diplomacy (PE 152) course with the Office of International Health and Biodefense (OES/IHB). More information on the office is at and on Diplopedia. STATE MAGAZINE // JANUARY 2014 19

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