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Dr. Deborah L. Birx Joins the George W. Bush Institute as a Senior Fellow

Birx’s long career has focused on clinical and basic immunology, infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, vaccine research, and global health.

March 12, 2021

DALLAS, Texas—The George W. Bush Institute announced today that Dr. Deborah L. Birx has joined the organization as a Senior Fellow. In the role, she will leverage her significant expertise in global health, pandemic response, and health systems to support the Bush Institute’s portfolio of work. She will also take on policy initiatives on how to better position our country to tackle health disparities in the future based off the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From her time as a Colonel in the United States Army to her most recent role coordinating the response to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Birx has been an exemplary public servant and renowned expert in the medical field,” said Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director of the Bush Institute. “She has run some of the most high-profile and influential programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State – including the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history. We are grateful that she has brought her expertise, her commitment to saving lives, her compassionate heart, and her brilliant mind to the Bush Institute.”

Dr. Birx and the Bush Institute have worked together on Go Further, an innovative public-private partnership between PEPFAR, the Bush Institute, UNAIDS, and Merck. Go Further aims to reduce new cervical cancer cases by 95 percent among women living with HIV in twelve African countries, which have some of the highest rates of HIV prevalence and cervical cancer incidence in the world. Through the partnership, over 1.3 million women living with HIV have been screened for cervical cancer for the first time, and more than 60,000 women with pre-cancerous lesions have received treatment.

"I am thrilled to be working with the incredible people and impactful programs at the Bush Institute," said Dr. Birx. “The Bush Institute programs put people at the center, recognizing we are stronger when we listen to each other, learn from one another, and come together to do things bigger than any of us could do alone. President and Mrs. Bush witnessed the impact of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic 20 years ago and responded by founding the Global Fund and PEPFAR. They believed the crisis could be tackled with people, funding, and compassion for others. We can do the same today by confronting pandemics with empathy and unity in action."

Dr. Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader whose long career has focused on clinical and basic immunology, infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, she oversaw the $6 billion annual budget of PEPFAR, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Most recently, Dr. Birx served as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, where she used complex data integration to drive decision making and worked closely with state officials across the country to provide state-specific advice and guidance.

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About the George W. Bush Institute:

Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. Through three Impact Centers –Domestic Excellence, Global Leadership, and an Engagement Agenda –the Bush Institute delivers measurable results that save and improve lives. To learn more, visit www.BushCenter.org.