Indian American infectious diseases physician named senior policy advisor for global Covid response
Nahid Bhadelia, an Indian American infectious diseases physician has joined the White House Covid-19 response team as senior policy advisor for global Covid response.
A Boston University School of Medicine associate professor of infectious diseases, Bhadelia is founder of BU’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy & Research (CEID). She is taking a sabbatical for the duration of the full-time position, according to BU publication The Brink.
Established by President Joe Biden to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, the response team is currently led by White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha. Jha is currently on a short-term leave from the Brown University School of Public Health where he served as the Dean.
Read: Biden names Ashish Jha Covid-19 Response Coordinator (March 17, 2022)
Born in India, Bhadelia grew up in Sweden and Saudi Arabia, She came to the United States as a young teenager.
“Some big personal news,” Bhadelia tweeted. “I am honored to join @WHCovidResponse as the Senior Policy Advisor for Global Covid-19 Response. I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve my country & to continue working with our global partners.”
“Dr. Bhadelia is widely known as an international expert and leader in highly communicable and emerging infectious diseases,” says Gloria Waters, BU vice president and associate provost for research.
Bhadelia is also an associate director of BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) and helped launch and develop the Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center, BU’s primary teaching hospital.
Read: Vivek Murthy named co-chair of Biden covid-19 advisory board (November 9, 2020)
“She has extensive clinical, field, academic, and policy experience in pandemic preparedness,” says Waters. “Her background in health and human security, international affairs, and her training in infectious disease, coupled with her extensive experience in health system response to emerging infectious diseases—such as Ebola, Zika, and more recently, Covid-19—have provided her with invaluable insights into the underlying challenges to pandemic preparedness.”
Bhadelia brings a broad global health background to the White House position, the Brink said. She worked in West and East Africa during multiple Ebola virus outbreaks, contributed to pandemic preparedness in Liberia and Uganda, and codirects the BU and University of Liberia Emerging and Epidemic Virus Research Program, which is funded by the Fogarty International Center.
She’s also a member of the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group for Universal Health and Preparedness Review, which is working to improve the metrics used to measure pandemic preparedness.
Since founding CEID in 2021, Bhadelia has grown it into a hub for research and actionable policies—the center has contributed to congressional hearings, advised legislative offices, prepared policy briefs, and provided input on pandemic preparedness bills, the Brink reported.