Openly gay Mark Dybul to remain U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
January 13, 2009
Lou Chibbaro of the Washington Blade:
President-elect Barack Obama has asked gay physician Mark Dybul to remain in his job as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for an undetermined period of time, according to an e-mail message Dybul sent to his staff on Jan. 9.
Dybul, who holds the rank of a U.S. ambassador, became one of President Bush’s highest ranking gay appointees in 2006, when Bush named him as acting – and five months later as permanent – head of the Global AIDS office.
The Global AIDS Coordinator is in charge of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, a multi-billion dollar program to fight AIDS in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The program enjoys widespread bipartisan support and is considered one of Bush’s most successful initiatives.
“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,” Dybul said in his e-mail message to his staff. The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the e-mail, published it in its online edition Monday.
Here's more on Dybul's official duties and background from his State Department bio:
Ambassador Dybul oversees all U.S. Government engagement in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and currently serves as Chair of the Global Fund Finance and Audit Committee. Ambassador Dybul also previously served as both Vice Chair and Chair of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Programme Coordinating Board.
From March to August 2006, Ambassador Dybul served as Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and prior to that he held the positions of Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Assistant U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. Before coming to the Coordinator's Office, he served on the Planning Task Force for the Emergency Plan, and was the lead for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for President Bush's International Prevention of Mother and Child HIV Initiative.
Dybul made healdines when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged Dybul's family and his partner, Jason Claire, who was present at his swearing-in ceremony in October 2006 along with First Lady Laura Bush (pictured above).
[Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP]