Biden to nominate surgeon, author Atul Gawande to senior job at USAID By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of USAID is seen at a community kitchen set-up by them and the World Food Programme in Cucuta, Colombia February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden will nominate writer, surgeon and public health expert Atul Gawande to a senior global health role at the U.S. Agency for International Development, a White House official said on Tuesday.

Gawande, author of four New York Times best-selling books and a professor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will be nominated to be the assistant administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Global Health.

His role at USAID will focus on efforts to prevent child and maternal deaths, control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combat infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, the official said.

Gawande appears to be taking his own advice. Last month, he told advanced degree graduates at Stanford University to be “open to trying stuff – to saying yes” to new opportunities.

Gawande, an outspoken critic of his industry’s practices, was hired in 2018 by Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:) Inc, Inc (NASDAQ:) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:) to lead Haven, a joint healthcare company aimed at cutting costs for U.S. employees.

But the Boston-based venture was short-lived and shut down in February.

Gawande’s 2014 book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” explores the limitations and failures of the medical profession in grappling with the realities of aging and death.

Gawande, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1998 and the winner of a MacArthur Fellowship, is also founder and chair of Ariadne Labs, a center for health systems innovation, and of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization aimed at making surgery safer globally.

During the pandemic, Gawande co-founded CIC Health, which operates COVID-19 testing and vaccination nationally, and served on Biden transition’s advisory board on COVID-19.

He served as a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services during the administration of former President Bill Clinton.

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