PMI Welcomes Dr. Kenneth Staley as the New U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator

Apr 10, 2018 |

It is my distinct honor and pleasure to introduce and welcome Dr. Kenneth Staley as the new Global Malaria Coordinator with the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). Dr. Staley’s appointment by the White House was announced April 9. A welcome statement by USAID Administrator Mark Green is posted here.

Dr. Staley received his medical degree from the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa. He also earned a Master of Public Administration degree from John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and he is an honors graduate of Washington University in Saint Louis.

In the George W. Bush administration, Dr. Staley served in the State Department as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Counterproliferation, and as Director for Biodefense Policy at the White House Homeland Security Council. More recently, Dr. Staley has worked on product development and innovation as a Director for Medtronic, and for the last few years he was with McKinsey & Company, where he led teams working on public health and crisis response, including Ebola and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

It is an exciting moment in time to welcome Dr. Staley as the U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator.

Thanks to the bipartisan support of Congress, in particular the Senate and House Malaria Caucuses led by Senators Chris Coons and Roger Wicker, and Congressmen Chris Smith and Gregory Meeks, the USG has contributed essential resources and technical leadership to the immense success and progress against the disease globally.

Over the past twelve years, PMI, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has worked with partner countries burdened by malaria and countless communities to drive progress in malaria. Together with countries including  national malaria control program leadership, local partners, donors, faith based groups, and multilateral organizations, effective malaria interventions are reaching  people where they live.

In September 2017, USAID Administrator Mark Green announced PMI’s expansion with new programs in Cameroon, Côte D’Ivoire, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Burkina Faso.

The United States, through PMI, now contributes to effective malaria prevention and control for over half a billion people from the Sahel to the Horn to Southern Africa through 24 country programs across sub Saharan Africa, the most malaria impacted region of the world. This is in addition to PMI’s three programs in the Greater Mekong Region in Asia, aimed at combating anti-malarial drug resistance.

Yet, the malaria community faces  a number of significant challenges in the global effort to defeat malaria. The World Malaria Report released in December showed that progress on reducing malaria cases and deaths has slowed with malaria cases and deaths have become highly concentrated in a limited number of countries. Just 16 countries now account for 80% of all malaria burden, of which 15 are in sub-Saharan Africa. Those countries include the largest and most complex countries, including Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The information in the World Malaria Report points to the need to further intensify efforts in those high burden countries, but also highlights the challenges of making progress in areas of civil and social instability.

We look forward to working under the leadership of Dr. Staley to redouble PMI efforts to expand the coverage of proven interventions to people in need, where they live, in rural communities whereby further contributing to shrinking the malaria map.

PMI remains committed to continued partnership with countries to support their leadership to advance malaria control efforts with an eye to the long-term. For those countries that have successfully brought to scale malaria control interventions and seen reductions of malaria burden, PMI must continue to work in partnership to sustain these gains and in those countries where malaria transmission has reduced to very low levels,  focus on incorporating elimination strategies will be added.

Again, on behalf of our interagency partnership and teams in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., we welcome Dr. Staley to the helm of PMI.

Irene Koek signature

Irene Koek
Acting Global Malaria Coordinator

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