After White House Stint, BU Infectious Diseases Expert Shares Pandemic Lessons
Original article from The Brink by Andrew Thurston. August 1, 2023
Nahid Bhadelia has returned to BU after helping lead the Biden administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response
Having a desk in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—part of the White House complex—guarantees some high-caliber coworkers. Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan both have offices there, among other senior officials.
For the past year, the 135-year-old building was also the workplace of Boston University infectious diseases physician Nahid Bhadelia. She recently returned to Boston after serving on the White House COVID-19 Response Team, formed by President Biden’s administration to unify the government’s pandemic actions and recovery efforts. As senior policy advisor for global COVID response, Bhadelia helped lead the federal drive to boost worldwide vaccination levels, accelerate vaccine and treatment innovation, and prepare for future outbreaks.
Bhadelia has extensive international and on-the-ground experience, serving as a member of the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group for Universal Health and Preparedness Review, working in West and East Africa during multiple Ebola virus outbreaks, and contributing to pandemic preparedness in Liberia and Uganda. But she says that whenever she walked on the routes dividing the White House and the executive offices, the magnitude of what she was doing never failed to inspire.
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