As representatives of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) members, AAFSW President Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, as well as American Academy of Diplomacy President Ambassador Neumann, were invited to participate in the PEPFAR Executive Leadership Strategy Session, which took place on Monday, December 18, 2017 in the Loy Henderson auditorium at the Department of State. Since its inception in 2003, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has received strong bipartisan support in Congress and through administrations, including two reauthorizations with significant majorities. PEPFAR puts partnerships at the center of its work by working with countries, multilateral institutions, the private sector, faith groups, and community and civil society organizations to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and help save the lives of those suffering from the disease, primarily in Africa.
On Monday, December 18, 2017, PEPFAR offered a private sector roundtable discussion, which was convened by Ambassador Deborah Birx and was attended by many U.S. Ambassadors and Deputy Chiefs of Mission serving in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as senior government officials responsible for Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Agencies that participated included: USAID, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, Health Resources and Services Administration/U.S. Food and Drug Administration, White House, Office of Management and Budget, Peace Corp, Department of Defense.
Further, some of the countries represented in the PEPFAR roundtable session were Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Barbados, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe and others.
The discussion was immediately followed by a holiday reception hosted by another FAC member, the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU). Many of the BCIU representatives including Ms. Vicki Weil were present. This BCIU reception took place in the Delegates Lounge honoring the State Department and was hosted by AAR Corp (an independent provider of services to the global commercial, government and defense aviation industries) and APR Energy (a private company which provides fast-track mobile turbine power to sovereign utilities, public and private utilities, governmental institutions, and power-intensive industries worldwide.)
AAFSW wishes to thank BCIU and PEPFAR for inviting the Foreign Affairs Council members, including AAFSW and its President Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, to this very informative event as well as BCIU, AAR Corp, and APR Energy for hosting the holiday party to honor the Department of State.
Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD