Washington, DC – Mayor Fenty and Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Pierre Vigilance announced the interim Senior Deputy Director for the HIV/AIDS Hepatitis Tuberculosis and STD Administration (HAHSTA) within DOH. Dr. Nnemdi Kamanu Elias will serve as the interim Senior Deputy while a nationwide search is conducted for a permanent replacement. Prior to becoming Interim Senior Deputy, Dr. Kamanu Elias served as the Chief Medical Director for HAHSTA.
“Our city has made considerable strides in the fight against communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS, increasing the number of HIV testing programs and investing in HIV/AIDS awareness and research,” said Fenty. “I am confident that Dr. Kamanu-Elias and the District will continue ensure that city residents are armed with the necessary tools to protect and improve their health.”
“I look forward to continuing the great progress we’ve made at the Department of Health with Dr. Kamanu Elias,” said Dr. Vigilance. “The entire Department of Health stands behind every effort to ensure that all District residents have the tools and knowledge to live long and healthy lives.”
Dr. Nnemdi Kamanu Elias
Dr. Nnemdi Kamanu Elias joined the DC Department of Health in February 2009 as the Chief Medical Officer for HAHSTA. As the Chief Medical Officer, Kamanu Elias worked with the Senior Deputy Director for HAHSTA and HAHSTA staff to ensure the technical and programmatic quality of HIV/AIDS and related programs throughout DOH.
Prior to joining DC government, Kamanu Elias was a senior manager at European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership in the Netherlands, an organization created by the European Commission to support the development of clinical interventions for HIV and other diseases in Africa and to build the capacity of developing country scientists.
As chief of the HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global AIDS Program in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania she oversaw the implementation of United States Government (USG) supported HIV care and treatment services. During that time, the USG HIV Team in Tanzania supported activities to reduce the prevalence of HIV, expand the number of persons tested and receiving care and support for HIV, and initiate HIV treatment for over fifty thousand persons. Before entering the field, she worked within the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator in the Department of State as a Technical Advisor under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Kamanu Elias has provided HIV clinical care at San Francisco General Hospital, and was clinical faculty within the UCSF Department of Medicine, Division of HIV/AIDS.
Kamanu Elias obtained her medical degree from Yale University, completed residency in Internal Medicine/Primary Care at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and obtained a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
“I am honored to continue to serve the Department of Health in my new capacity,” said Kamanu Elias. “I look forward to working with the excellent team in HAHSTA and our colleagues in DOH to build on the progress we’ve made over the past three years under Mayor Fenty.”