Full Name
Dr. John Nkengasong
Job Title
Ambassador, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Senior Bureau Official for Global Health Security and Diplomacy
U.S. Department of State
Speaker Bio
Dr. John N. Nkengasong is an Ambassador-at-Large and serves as the
U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Senior
Bureau Official for Global Health Security and Diplomacy (GHSD). In this
role, Ambassador Nkengasong oversees the Bureau of Global Health
Security and Diplomacy. The Bureau serves as the Department’s
coordinating body for work on strengthening global health security to
prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS;
as well as elevates and integrates global health security as a core
component of U.S. national security and foreign policy. As its Senior
Bureau Official, Ambassador Nkengasong leads U.S. diplomatic
engagement; leverages and helps coordinate U.S. foreign assistance;
and promotes international cooperation at the national, regional, and
multilateral levels to better protect the United States and the world
from health threats.
GHSD is home to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which the Ambassador
also oversees. PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history and
has prevented millions of HIV infections, saved more than 25 million lives, and has changed the course
of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Under his leadership, the program is laser focused on ending HIV/AIDS as a
global health threat by 2030.
Previously, Ambassador Nkengasong served as the first director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control
and Prevention. Through his leadership, a framework for transforming Africa CDC into a full autonomous
health agency of the Africa Union was established. As Africa CDC director, Ambassador Nkengasong also
led the COVID-19 response in Africa, coordinating with heads of state and governments across the
continent, among other achievements to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped secure 400 million
doses of COVID-19 vaccines at the height of vaccine scarcity. During his tenure, he was appointed as one
of the World Health Organization’s special envoys on COVID-19 preparedness and response.
Ambassador Nkengasong also served as acting deputy principal director of the Center for Global Health,
as well as the Division of Global HIV and TB’s chief of the International Laboratory Branch at the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As a world-renowned public health leader, Ambassador Nkengasong’s contributions to global health
have been recognized by numerous prestigious awards and honors including the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation, 2020 Global Goalkeeper Award; Time Magazine, 2021 Time 100 List of Most Influential
People; Fortune magazine, 2021 World’s 50 Greatest Leaders; Bloomberg, 2021 Bloomberg 50 Influential
People; and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shepard Award and William Watson Medal
of Excellence. Last year, he was invited to join the National Academy of Medicine and he became the
first laureate of the Virchow Prize for Global Health. In 2023, he received the African of the Year Award
from All Africa Business Leaders Award in partnership with CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa. Dr.
Nkengasong also holds the rare honor of being knighted by the governments of Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire,
and Cameroon.
John Nkengasong