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Eric Goosby Appointed as the New IAVI Board Chair and Anne VanLent Appointed Vice-Chair

July 8, 2016

Board member Lord Norman Fowler elected Lord Speaker for the United Kingdom’s House of Lords

Former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of Directors of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). He succeeds Alex Coutinho, who has chaired IAVI’s Board since December 2013 and who stepped down from the Board after nine years of service. The Board also appointed long-time member and distinguished life sciences industry executive Anne VanLent as Vice Chair. Following his election as Lord Speaker for the United Kingdom’s House of Lords the Rt. Hon. the Lord Norman Fowler has stepped down from the Board on which he served since 2013.

Goosby, currently the Director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)-UC Berkeley Institute of Global Health Delivery & Diplomacy, has worked in the field of HIV/AIDS research, treatment, advocacy and policy for more than 25 years. From 2009 to 2013, as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Goosby directed the U.S. strategy for addressing HIV/AIDS around the world and led the implementation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In January 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed him the UN's Special Envoy on Tuberculosis.

“Eric Goosby is one of the world’s greatest experts and champions in fighting HIV/AIDS. He has a deep understanding and appreciation of the scientific, public health, political, financial and human complexities of treating and preventing this deadly virus, as well as a profound commitment to global health equity, access and human rights,” said Mark Feinberg, IAVI's President and CEO. “We are delighted that he has agreed to serve as Board Chair, and we will greatly benefit from his experience, insights and leadership in helping IAVI advance its mission.”

Feinberg continued: “Alex Coutinho’s three decades of service and unwavering dedication to fighting HIV/AIDS have made him an inspirational role model for generations of health care providers, clinicians and laboratory researchers in Africa and around the world.  We thank Alex for his remarkable example as a medical and public health leader in the global fight against AIDS, his dedication and his humanity, and for reminding us of the human tragedy caused by this epidemic and the importance of our scientific work and public health advocacy.”

Coutinho is currently the Executive Director of Inshuti Mu Buzima, a sister organization of Partners in Health in Rwanda since September 2015. In previous roles, he led the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University and the Aids Support Organization (TASO) in Uganda. Coutinho was also a founding board member of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in 2001. In 2013, the government of Japan awarded him the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for being an outstanding leader of the global campaign to address the suffering caused by AIDS and end the HIV pandemic.

“IAVI is very grateful that Anne VanLent will serve in a leadership role as Vice Chair of the Board and partner to Eric Goosby with his duties as Board Chair,” said Feinberg.  “She brings strong current and past experience as a board member of publicly traded life sciences companies, and has been a tremendous contributor to advancing IAVI’s mission through her service as a member of the IAVI Board since 2008.” In addition to her role on the IAVI Board, VanLent also serves as the Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee. VanLent is the President of AMV Advisors, and during the past 30 years has served in senior executive roles with biotech and biopharmaceutical companies.

“IAVI enthusiastically congratulates Lord Fowler on his election to his very important new role,” said Feinberg. “We will truly miss his strong and unwavering voice advocating for the development of effective AIDS vaccines, and his numerous exceptionally valuable contributions to our board. However, we also look forward to seeing his all-important future contributions as a very compassionate and insightful leader in these challenging times.”

Lord Fowler is a UK parliamentarian with a long and distinguished track record of galvanizing public support for AIDS prevention. As Secretary of State for Health and Social Security under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, he launched the UK’s first official AIDS awareness drive, the “Don’t Die of Ignorance” campaign. He chaired the House of Lords Select Committee on HIV/AIDS and is currently vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV and AIDS, an ambassador for the National AIDS Trust, and a patron of the British HIV Association and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

In addition to these changes, IAVI Board member and Scientific Advisory Committee Chair, Robin Weiss, announced his retirement after completion of a three-year term. “Robin Weiss is a true scholar and innovator in the field of virology, and a pioneer in HIV research. He and his colleagues have made numerous critical scientific discoveries on the virology and pathogenesis of HIV infection – which have provided key foundational insights to advance innovations for the prevention and treatment of AIDS,” said Feinberg. “Robin’s vision, counsel and inspiration have been instrumental in our remaining focused on identifying and applying the most promising scientific approaches to the development of an effective HIV vaccine.”

Weiss is Emeritus Professor of Viral Oncology at University College London (UCL). Before moving to UCL in 1999, Weiss was Director of Research and Professor of Viral Oncology at the Institute of Cancer Research at Royal Marsden Hospital London. He has served as a director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute of Tuberculosis and HIV in South Africa, Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the UK, and the Foundation for Vaccine Research in Washington, DC.

IAVI will announce new Board of Director appointees in the near future.