The world has gone through turmoil and socio-economic disruption due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the U.S. Government is in the midst of change and President-elect Biden has promised on his first day in office to reverse President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization. Throughout this period, international organizations have developed new programs and are considering important reforms to improve pandemic preparedness and response in the future.
Ambassador John E. Lange (Ret.) is Senior Fellow for Global Health Diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation, where he focuses on issues related to global health security and the work of the World Health Organization. He has held leadership positions in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Measles & Rubella Initiative. From 2009-2013, he engaged in high-level global health advocacy with African governments while at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Lange had a distinguished 28-year career in the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, where he was a pioneer in the field of global health diplomacy and a leader in pandemic preparedness and response. He was the State Department’s Special Representative on Avian and Pandemic Influenza from 2006-2009. He also served tours of duty as Deputy Inspector General; Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the inception of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and U.S. Ambassador to Botswana and Special Representative to the Southern African Development Community (1999-2002), where HIV/AIDS was his signature issue. Lange led the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as Chargé d’Affaires at the time of the August 7, 1998, terrorist bombing, for which he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award. Earlier, he had tours of duty at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and the American Embassies in Lomé, Togo; Paris, France; and Mexico City, Mexico.
He has an M.S. degree from the National War College and J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His August 10, 2020 article in The Hill can be found at Pandemic preparedness and response under a different president.
The video of Ambassador Lange’s January 27, 2021 talk for SFWAF is available at: Videos | The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum (sfwaf.org)
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