Eric Goosby, MD is the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Leader in Global Health Award and Laila Soudi, MS ’15 received the Velji Emerging Leader in Global Health Innovation Award from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH).
Pierre Buekens, MD, chair of the CUGH board and dean of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, presented the award to Goosby at ceremonies during the annual CUGH conference in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 8.
The Distinguished Leader Award, given annually, honors an individual who has demonstrated a long-term, profound commitment to global health; made an exceptional contribution to improving global health through interdisciplinary activities across research, education and/or service; demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in her/his field resulting in significant, lasting benefits for global health outcomes particularly for the world’s poor; inspired excellence among peers and staff and be well-respected in the global health community nationally and internationally; and played a pivotal role in advocating for implementing or advancing global health policies and/or programs. Previous winners include Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),
Goosby, a professor of medicine at UCSF, also directs the Center for Implementation Sciences and Global Health Delivery and Diplomacy at UCSF Global Health Sciences.
He began his career treating HIV/AIDS patients at San Francisco General Hospital as part of the early leadership responding to HIV in San Francisco and across the US. In 1991, he served as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) founding director of the Ryan White CARE Act, a program that brought care and treatment services to 52 epicenter cities and all 50 states. This was the first action from the U.S. government providing resources to HIV impacted communities after a decade of locally resourced responses. He was later appointed director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy at HHS under Secretary Donna Shalala. He also served in the Clinton White House as Acting National AIDS Policy Director for two years and later as Deputy Director for Science. After working in the Clinton Administration, he returned to UCSF and founded the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation in conjunction with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, focused on creating HIV treatment services in developing world settings.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Goosby to be ambassador-at-large in the U.S. State Department and the Global AIDS Coordinator, charged with the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). He also served as Founding Director of the State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy, placing global health on the agenda of every U.S. ambassador as a tool of soft power diplomacy.
In 2015, then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Goosby to be the UN Special Envoy on Tuberculosis. In this role, he works to raise awareness of TB and help implement known solutions to address the critical problem of increasing deaths worldwide from this curable disease. Current UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently renewed Goosby’s appointment.
In accepting the award, Goosby challenged the audience representing academic medical centers to embrace the opportunities and barriers to reaching universal health care as part of their respective missions. “I believe that academic medical centers have an ethical obligation to be part of the response to the global burden of disease and the continued disparities present in each high burden country,” he said.
GHS alumna Laila Soudi, MS ’15 received the Velji Emerging Leader in Global Health Innovation Award for her work to understand mental illness among displaced populations in the Middle East. She began that work during her capstone project while a student in the Master’s program at UCSF Global Health Sciences, and now is continuing to develop a program at Stanford where she works with Dr. Victor Carrion, who specializes in pediatric anxiety and trauma, to implement global mental health programs.