Nahid Bhadelia joins White House Covid-19 response team

Native American infectious disease doctor appointed senior policy advisor for global Covid response

Nahid Bhadelia, an Indian-American physician specializing in infectious diseases, has joined the White House Covid-19 response team as senior policy adviser for the global response to Covid.

An associate professor of infectious diseases at Boston University School of Medicine, Bhadelia is the founder of BU’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research (CEID). She is taking a sabbatical for the duration of the full-time position, according to BU publication The Brink.

Created by President Joe Biden to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, the response team is currently led by White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha. Jha is currently on short-term leave from Brown University School of Public Health where he served as Dean.

Read: Biden appoints Ashish Jha as Covid-19 response coordinator (March 17, 2022)

Born in India, Bhadelia grew up in Sweden and Saudi Arabia. She came to the United States as a teenager.

“Some great personal news,” Bhadelia tweeted. “I’m honored to join @WHCovidResponse as Senior Policy Advisor for the global response to Covid-19. I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve my country and continue to work with our global partners.

“Dr. Bhadelia is widely known as an international expert and leader in the field of highly communicable and emerging infectious diseases,” said Gloria Waters, BU Vice President and Associate Vice President for Research.

Bhadelia is also Associate Director of BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and helped initiate and grow the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center, BU’s primary teaching hospital.

Read: Vivek Murthy named co-chair of Biden’s covid-19 advisory board (November 9, 2020)

“She has extensive clinical, field, academic and policy experience in pandemic preparedness,” Waters says. “His background in human health and safety, international affairs and his training in infectious diseases, combined with his extensive experience in the health system response to emerging infectious diseases, such as Ebola, Zika and, more recently, Covid-19 , provided him with invaluable insight into the challenges underlying pandemic preparedness.

Bhadelia brings extensive global health experience to the White House post, the Brink said. She has worked in West and East Africa during several Ebola virus outbreaks, contributed to pandemic preparedness in Liberia and Uganda, and co-leads the Emerging and Epidemic Viruses Research Program of the BU and the University of Liberia, funded by the Fogarty International Center.

Read: BU’s Nahid Bhadelia joins White House COVID-19 response team (July 13, 2022)

She is also a member of the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group for the Universal Review of Health and Preparedness, which works to improve the metrics used to measure pandemic preparedness.

Since founding CEID in 2021, Bhadelia has transformed it into a hub for research and actionable policy – ​​the center has contributed to congressional hearings, advised legislative offices, prepared policy briefs and provided commentary on pandemic preparedness bills, the Brink reported.

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