HIV/AIDS in AFRICA: Western Contributions to the Global Fight
Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center
Howard University
The Founders Library, Thursday, January 25, 2007


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Health & Medicine at Howard University

Howard University Hospital

AIDS Information (MedlinePlus)


Biographies & Videotaped Excerpts

The Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center at Howard University and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC invited policy-makers, practioners, and scholars to join in a discussion about global accountability and the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

The program addressed the flow of HIV/AIDS medication to Africa, the feminization of the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and the harmonization of HIV/AIDS policies stemming from the World Bank, The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and bilateral donors like the United States and Europe.

The panelists included: Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil RIghts (LCCR), Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, who serves as the Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the Department of State, and the HIV/AIDS Ambassadors of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

The discussion was chaired by Celia Maxwell, M.D., Assisant Vice President for Health Affairs and Director of the Women's Health Institute at Howard University.

Biographies & Videotaped Excerpts


Ambassador Horace J. Dawson Jr.

Celia J. Maxwell, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Dr. Maxwell is the Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences and Director of the Women’s Health Institute at Howard University. She is and has been the Principal Investigator of several prestigious projects. They include: The Center for Infectious Disease Management and Research, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Barbara Jordan Congressional Scholars Program at Howard University; The Program to Combat Violent Crimes Against Women on Campuses; and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention-Comprehensive AIDS Training Initiative. Additionally, she was also the Co-Principal Investigator of the National Minority AIDS Education & Training Center and a co-investigator for the Local Health Policy and International Tele-medicine Application Project.

In 1990, Dr. Maxwell was selected by Sharon Pratt-Kelly, former Mayor of Washington, D.C. to co-chair the Transitional Task Force on AIDS services. In 1993, she was appointed to the Healthcare Reform Task Force chaired by First Lady, Hillary Rodman Clinton. In 1995, Dr. Maxwell was appointed by Dr. Donna Shalala, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, and served on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council of the National Institutes of Health until 1998. From 1994-98, Dr. Maxwell was the Principal Investigator of the Mid-Atlantic AIDS Education and Training Center DC Local Performance Site at Howard University. Additionally, from 1994-97, she served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. David Kessler. In 1997, Dr. Maxwell was selected for the nationally renowned Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship. From 1997-98, through the fellowship, Dr. Maxwell served as a health legislative assistant for Senator Tom Harkin (D. Iowa).

Dr. Maxwell obtained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hunter College and her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Howard University Hospital. Dr. Maxwell was also awarded a Fellowship in Parasitology at the National Institutes of Health, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. Her research interests involved the investigation of the immune response of humans to the hookworm parasite. Dr. Maxwell returned to Howard University as an Infectious Diseases Fellow and is now an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, as well as a member of several boards and scientific associations. She gives numerous talks to professional and lay audiences and is a frequent guest on radio and television. Additionally, she lectures to diverse groups, including physicians, educators, students, national service organizations, and has several publications in the areas of sexually transmitted diseases and parasitology.


Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights / USA

Mr. Henderson is well known for his expertise on a wide range of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights issues. Currently he works on issues involving voting rights and election reform; federal judicial appointments; economic justice; educational equity; hate crimes; criminal justice reform; issues of immigration and refugee policy; and human rights. Under his leadership, the LCCR has become one of the nation's most effective defenders of civil and human rights. He is also working on civil liberties and civil rights concerns emanating from the "war against terrorism" and the search for homeland security. Mr. Henderson successfully spearheaded the coalition's defeat of numerous anti-affirmative action bills in the late 1990's, including efforts to eliminate affirmative action in higher education and in government contracting

Prior to his role with the Leadership Conference, Mr. Henderson was the Washington Bureau Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was also previously the Associate Director of the Washington national office of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he began his career as a legislative counsel.

Ambassador Michel Lastschenko / Belgium

Ambassador Michel Lastschenko is the Belgian Ambassador for the fight against AIDS. He is a career diplomat. He entered the Foreign Ministry in 1979. After having served in Moscow, London and Kinshasa, he was appointed in 1992 Ambassador to Syria. Since then he served successively as Belgian Ambassador to Pakistan, Rwanda and Denmark. In Belgium he was Deputy Head of the Middle East Department of the Foreign Ministry, Head of the Human Rights Department, Ambassador at large for Immigration. Besides his duties as Aids Ambassador, Ambassador Lastschenko is Deputy Chief of Cabinet of Minister Armand De Decker, the Belgian Minister for Overseas Development and Cooperation, with special responsibilities for European affairs and Human Rights. Ambassador Lastschenko is married and has four children.

Ambassador Sigrun Møgedal / Norway

Dr. Sigrun Møgedal is the Norwegian HIV/AIDS Ambassador since 2005.  She works within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Her main areas of professional involvement are the HIV/AIDS response, with focus on policy and strategy development, coordination, global and national architecture. Development policy, global health initiatives, strategies for development, management of development collaboration and the role of the private and public sectors. International health policy analysis, human resources for health, health systems development and reform. Research to policy linkages; ethics and development, AIDS and development, environment and development, health and development. 

 She is currently a board member of the Global Fund to Fight against Aids, TB and Malaria (GFATM), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Global Health Workforce Alliance and UNITAID.  From 2000-2001 she was the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for international development. She has also served as the Senior Executive Adviser, for Global Initiatives at  NORAD, and as Senior Policy Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS. 

During the 1970s she was Director of the Lalitpur District Community Health and Development Programme in Kathmandu, Nepal, Medical officer for primary health care at Lumbini Zonal Hospital for the Government of Nepal. From 1980-82 she was the Health Services Director of the United Mission to Nepal.

Ambassador Michel D. Kazatchkine / France

Dr. Michel D. Kazatchkine Ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He is also ....  at the Département d'Immunologie of the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou.  Before being appointed as the AIDS Ambassador in 2005 he was the Director of the National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRS) and the Head of the Department of Immunology and Clinical Immunology Unit at the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris.

From 2005 – 2006 he was the Board member and Vice-Chair of the Board of the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).  In 2005 he was a Member of the Global Task Team on Improving AIDS Coordination among Multilateral Institutions and International Donors, as well as a member of the Global Steering Committee on the UNAIDS assessment of the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the 2006 UNGASS.  Last year he was the focal point on health/infectious diseases, in preparation of the Saint Petersburg G8 Summit.

Dr. Kazatchkine has over 600 original publications in peer-reviewed journals and review articles/ books in the fields of basic and clinical immunology (over 380 articles cited in Pub-Med). The main focus of the published work has been on autoimmunity, immune-based therapies, immunopathogenesis and clinical science of HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Kazatchkine has taught graduate and post-graduate courses in immunology and medicine at the Paris University for 20 years.  International and internationally-oriented teaching is relevant to infectious diseases in the developing world at the Pasteur Institute in Paris and in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmåker / Sweden

Lennarth Hjelmåker is since 2003 the Ambassador and Special Swedish Representative on HIV and AIDS-matters at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Before being appointed as a Special HIV and AIDS Representative he served at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as a Deputy Director General and Head of the Department for Global Development and before that as Deputy Director General and Head of Department for International Development Cooperation. From 1996 – 2001 Lennarth Hjelmåker served as the Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe following six years (1990 – 1996) as Minister Councellor (Economic and Social affairs) at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the United Nations, New York. Lennarth Hjelmåker awarded in 1974 a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Stockholm with studies in Economics, Statistics, Political Science and Civil and Commercial Laws.

Ambassador Paul Bekkers / The Netherlands

Since 2005, Paul Bekkers has held the post of Director of the Social and Institutional Development Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands, and has served as the Dutch government’s Ambassador for HIV/AIDS. Bekkers’ previous government and diplomatic appointments have included service as Deputy Head of Mission at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, and as Head and Deputy Ambassador for Cultural Cooperation within the Department of International Cultural Policy. Prior to that he served at the Netherlands Embassies in South Africa, Ghana and Zaire and held various responsibilities at the MFA/development co-operation in The Hague. Before undertaking his career in government and international diplomacy, Bekkers completed courses of academic study in history and economics and obtained an LLM in international law from the University of Nijmegen.

Ambassador Jimmy Kolker / United States

Ambassador Jimmy Kolker serves as Assistant U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Director of Diplomatic Outreach in the Office of the U. S. Global AIDS Coordinator, which leads implementation of President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Ambassador Kolker joined the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator in October 2005.

 Ambassador Kolker has served in numerous political reporting and management assignments during his 29-year diplomatic career. His most recent posting was as U.S. Ambassador to Uganda (2002-2005). In 2005, Ambassador Kolker won the Arnold L. Raphael Memorial Award, given to the person who has done the most to develop Foreign Service talent and mentor subordinates. Prior to his service in Uganda, Ambassador Kolker served as U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso (1999-2002).

Ambassador Kolker has also served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Denmark (1996-1999) and Botswana (1990-1994). In Washington, he has served in the State Department’s Africa Bureau and as a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Management. Other overseas posts were in Britain, Sweden, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

 Ambassador Kolker was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and holds a B.A. in Political Science from Carleton College (Minnesota) and a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard University. He speaks French, Swedish and Portuguese.

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