With more than 23,000 attendees from around the world gathering in Washington for the 2012 AIDS conference, the United States is represented by a panoply of federal agencies.
Speeches at the opening session were delivered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Also at the podium was renowned AIDS expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as Assistant HHS Secretary Howard Koh. The audience heard from Ambassador Eric Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator who runs the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) out of the State Department.
Another speaker was Frances Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, which is the main U.S. government organizing partner (though many private corporations and nonprofits are also supporters). NIH put on an exhibit featuring print, video, and online materials along with daily "Meet the Experts" sessions showcasing NIH researchers and administrators.
Attendees also heard Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control, which is staging more than 100 scientific sessions at the conference. Another high-level speaker was Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is supporting the publication of hundreds of abstracts and participating in posters, oral presentations, workshops, symposia and satellite sessions.
The White House Office of AIDS Policy marked the event by posting videos from Obama administration officials whose lives have been affected by AIDS. Featured personalities include Grant Colfax, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy; John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management; Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president; Brad Kiley, director of the Office of Management and Administration; Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Gayle Smith, special assistant to the president and senior director for development and democracy for the national security staff; and Tina Tchen, chief of staff to the first lady.