A recent profile in the Morningside Post highlights the career accomplishments of Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA — ICAP’s founder and director—and how her past experiences in the early days of the HIV response relate to her ongoing work as a leader in the global response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. El-Sadr was recently appointed by president of Columbia University Lee Bollinger to serve as the next director of Columbia World Projects, a working group within the University that aims to leverage the expertise of Columbia’s researchers and scholars to tackle global challenges in partnership with governments, organizations, businesses, and communities. Dr. El-Sadr will assume the new role on March 1, 2021 concurrently with her ongoing commitments as director of ICAP, university professor of epidemiology and medicine, and director of the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School of Public Health.
“It’s not often in history that two pandemics occur simultaneously. But that’s what we’re living through now. The HIV pandemic hasn’t gone away. And now there’s the COVID pandemic. There are lessons to be learned from both. There’s been a lot of attention around health insurance and health care access specifically, but much less attention paid to the public health infrastructure of the country… We’re re-discovering the importance of engaging communities from day one. We’re seeing that you can’t cut corners. You have to do it early and often, and keep building on these relationships. “