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Coronavirus

Gayle Smith Named US Global Covid Coordinator

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Antony Blinken has appointed a former diplomat and humanitarian aid chief to be a special envoy for U.S. coronavirus vaccine and prevention efforts.

Gayle Smith will be charged with overseeing U.S. programs to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks, including COVID-19, abroad.

“She’s tested. She’s highly respected. She will hit the ground running,” Blinken said in announcing the appointment Monday. “And I can say from having worked with Gayle and admired her for years, that no one will work harder, faster, or more effectively to get us to the finish line.”

Smith is a former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development and has held senior State Department and National Security Council positions focused on Africa.

She was active in the Obama administration’s initiatives to eradicate the Ebola virus and was most recently the president of the ONE Campaign, the organization founded by U2 frontman Bono and others to combat extreme poverty and diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

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