Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

John Nkengasong, Ph.D., is an authority on implementing HIV therapy in resource-challenged areas and a prolific author on the topics of HIV diagnosis, pathogenesis, and drug resistance. He is the first director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), a specialized technical institution of the African Union that provides strategic direction and promotes public health practice within its member states. He also co-chairs the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Laboratory Technical Working Group and is the founding chair of the board of directors for the African Society for Laboratory Medicine.

Previously, Nkengasong was associate director for laboratory science and chief of the International Laboratory Branch of the Division of HIV & TB at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He joined the CDC in 1995 as chief of the virology laboratory in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and became chief of the Global AIDS Program International Laboratory Branch in 2005. From 1993-95, he was chief of virology at the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on HIV Diagnostics at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp.

He holds an M.S. in tropical biomedical science from the Institute of Tropical Medicine. He earned an additional M.S. in medical and pharmaceutical sciences and a Ph.D. in medical sciences (virology) from the University of Brussels.