Meet the Co-Chairs and Organizing Committee

Adeeba Kamarulzaman

University of Malaya
Malaysia

IAS President and International Co-Chair

Jean-Pierre Routy

McGill University
Canada

Local Co-Chair

Sharon Lewin

Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
Australia

IAS President-Elect

Birgit Poniatowski

International AIDS Society
Switzerland

Kenneth Ngure

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
Kenya

Jessica Whitbread

GNP+ and ICW
Bulgaria

Glory Alexander

ASHA Foundation
India

Erika Castellanos

Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE)
The Netherlands

Ken Monteith

Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida (COCQ-SIDA)
Canada

R Brad Jones

Weill Cornell Medicine
USA

Brenda Crabtree Ramirez

Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Health Sciences and Nutrition
Mexico

Ayesha Kharsany

Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)
South Africa

Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis

Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN)
Canada

Nittaya Phanuphak

Institute of HIV Research and Innovation
Thailand

Matthew Weait

University of Hertfordshire
United Kingdom

Matthew Weait

Morten Ussing

The United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS
Switzerland

Geoff Garnett

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
USA

Howard Njoo

Public Health Agency of Canada
Canada

Tanaka Chirombo

The Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global)
Malawi

Ken Monteith

Ken Monteith is the Executive Director of COCQ-SIDA. Trained as a lawyer, he works on community youth and HIV and AIDS initiatives. He participates in HIV research, especially projects concerning the quality of life of people living with HIV and HIV prevention for men who have sex with men.

He holds degrees in industrial relations and common and civil law from McGill University. He became a member of the Québec Bar in 1991 and resigned in 2001 to devote himself fully to community work on HIV and AIDS.

Ken has been living with HIV since 1997.

Adeeba Kamarulzaman

Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman of Malaysia became the first Asian President of IAS – the International AIDS Society – on 11 July 2020 when she began her two–year term. Prof Kamarulzaman is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Research in AIDS at the University of Malaya, which she set up in 2008. She also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University, USA, and chairs the Malaysian AIDS Foundation, a trust that raises funds for HIV- related programmes. As convener of the Malaysian Harm Reduction Working Group of the Malaysian AIDS Council, she successfully advocated for the implementation of harm reduction measures to tackle HIV among people who inject drugs in Malaysia. She was the President of the Malaysian AIDS Council from 2006 to 2010. In 2015, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by her alma mater, Monash University, Australia, for her contributions to medicine and as a health advocate.

Matthew Weait

Matthew Weait, FAcSS, is Professor of Law and Society and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. His research, scholarship and advocacy have centred on the impact of criminal law and criminal justice processes on people living with HIV and AIDS. He has published widely in this area and contributed to policy outputs from UNAIDS, WHO Europe and the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, for which he was a member of the Technical Advisory Group. Matthew is a qualified (non-practicing) barrister, a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences and senior LGBTQ+ Champion for his university.

Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis

Margaret Kisikaw Piyesis has been CEO of CAAN since December 2019 and Finance and Research Director of the All Nations Hope Network since October 1999. Margaret has over 30 years of experience responding to HIV, HCV and colonial impacts among Indigenous communities. In her culture, she is regarded as Kisewatisowin Okihcitaskwew (Kind-Hearted Warrior Woman). Margaret is Cree Iskwew (a woman) with direct ties to the Kisikaw Piyesis/Itittakoose Family from George Gordon First Nation and the Desnomie/McLeod Family from Peepeekisis First Nation in Saskatchewan on the land now called Canada. She is a descendant of the Moose Clan and the Bear Clan, living as a traditional medicine practitioner, knowledge keeper and “baby-catching bundle carrier”. She is Waniska (Awakened) to the ways of the ancestors, practicing traditional ways of knowing, healing, seeking pimâtisiwin (life) for all nations through Indigenous practices, language, ceremonies, culture and traditions. She works as a Co-Creator for Kisi Manito (Great Mystery), honouring the ancestors along the way.

Jean-Pierre Routy

Dr Jean-Pierre Routy is an attending physician in the Division of Hematology and Director of Chronic Viral Illness Service at the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, and his work in AIDS-related malignancies earned him the McGill University Louis Lowenstein Chair in Hematology & Oncology. He trained in medicine and haematology-oncology at University Aix-Marseille and obtained a postdoctoral research fellow award from the Canadian HIV Trials Network. As a clinician-scientist at Fonds de la recherche Québec en santé (FRQ-S), he implemented the Montreal Primary HIV-Infection study in 1996, generating important findings in HIV pathogenesis and drug resistance transmission. Dr Routy served as Director of the FRQ-S SIDA et maladies infectieuses and national Co-Director of the Immunotherapy and Vaccine Core at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for HIV Trials Network. He is a member of the HIV/AIDS Research Advisory Committee for the Federal Government of Canada. Dr Routy has authored or co-authored over 370 peer-reviewed publications.

Sharon Lewin

Professor Sharon Lewin is the inaugural Director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne, Australia, and Royal Melbourne Hospital. She is Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Melbourne, a consultant physician at the Alfred Hospital, and a National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellow in Melbourne. She is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist. Her research focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection. She was the Local Co-Chair for AIDS 2014 – the 20th International AIDS Conference – held in Melbourne, Australia. Professor Lewin is the Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Towards an HIV Cure Initiative led by the IAS. She is also the IAS President-Elect and a member of the IAS Governing Council, representing the Asia Pacific region.

Birgit Poniatowski

With more than 20 years of public health and international development experience, Birgit Poniatowski was appointed to the position of IAS Executive Director in November 2020. This followed more than five years at the organization leading an expanding team responsible for resource mobilization, sustainable partnerships across diverse sectors and key strategic initiatives. Prior to joining the IAS, she was the Director for Investment and Partnerships at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. Earlier, she managed partnerships and supported the organization’s multi-stakeholder governance processes at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She was educated at Bonn and Heidelberg Universities in Germany and International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. She holds a PhD from Heidelberg University.

Kenneth Ngure

Professor Kenneth Ngure, MPH, MSc, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Global Health and the Chair of the Department of Community Health of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya. He is an Affiliate Associate Professor of the Department of Global Health, University of Washington, affiliated to the Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease of the Kenya Medical Research Institute and visiting scientist at Kenyatta National Hospital. Professor Ngure is a behavioural scientist and a member of the Behavioral Research Group of the Microbicides Trials Network and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network. He has been appointed to an expert committee on clinical trials of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya. Professor Ngure has over 20 years’ public health leadership experience in diverse HIV/AIDS research settings in sub-Saharan Africa and has consulted for organizations such as the World Health Organization.

Jessica Whitbread

Jessica Whitbread has been advocating for people living with HIV and those most affected for over 15 years. Jessica’s passion lies in connecting and engaging local grassroots communities with each other and broader social change movements. She does this as an independent consultant working with organizations such as GNP+, ICW and Y+ Global. Her ongoing projects include No Pants No Problem, Tea Time, PosterVIRUS and Love Positive Women. She published Tea Time: Mapping Informal Networks of Women Living with HIV in 2014 and is Co-Editor of The HIV Howler: Transmitting Art and Activism. Regarding the International AIDS Conference, Jessica represented women and girls living with HIV on the Conference Coordinating Committee for AIDS 2016 (Durban), AIDS 2018 (Amsterdam) and AIDS 2020: Virtual. In her role on the IAS Conference Committee, Jessica will be representing GNP+ and ICW jointly.

Glory Alexander

Dr Glory Alexander, MD (internal medicine) is an HIV specialist and Founder-Director of ASHA Foundation, a non-governmental organization based in Bangalore, India, and working in the field of HIV and AIDS. Over the past 25 years, she has worked tirelessly to build ASHA into a nationally impactful organization. She is a gold medallist postgraduate from the Christian Medical College, Vellore, an Ashoka Fellow and a recipient of the Dr B.C Roy Award from the President of India for outstanding services in the field of socio-medical relief.

Erika Castellanos

Erika Castellanos is a transgender HIV-positive woman from Belize who lives in the Netherlands. A social worker by profession, Erika joined GATE as Director of Programs in April 2017. She plays an important role in the participation of trans people in global key decision-making platforms. This includes being part of the Communities Delegation on the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; indeed, from 1 June 2018, Erika is the first openly transgender advocate to be appointed to the Board of the Global Fund.

R Brad Jones

Dr R Brad Jones is a viral immunologist and Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases. His current research is focused on understanding how to effectively harness innate and adaptive cellular immune responses to contribute to the elimination of the HIV reservoirs that persist in individuals on long-term therapy, and thus to inform efforts to cure infection. Work in the Jones lab has led to the discovery of cell-intrinsic resistance to cytotoxic T-cells as a contributor to HIV persistence on long-term antiretroviral therapy, with ongoing research focused on uncovering and overcoming underlying mechanisms. Dr Jones received his PhD in immunology from the University of Toronto before beginning a postdoctoral fellowship at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard in 2012. He currently serves as a principal investigator of the NIH-funded Martin Delaney BELIEVE Collaboratory.

Brenda Crabtree Ramirez

Dr Brenda Crabtree Ramirez graduated with honours in medicine from the La Salle Mexican School of Medicine in 2000. The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) endorsed her internal medicine specialization from ABC Medical Center. She is an infectious disease specialist at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán and currently a senior researcher at the HIV clinic of the Infectious Diseases Department and Assistant Professor of the UNAM HIV/AIDS programme. She has been part of the National System of Researchers since 2010, a member of the Mexican Association of Infectology and Clinical Microbiology since 2007, President of the HIV Committee of the Asociación Mexicana de Infectología y Microbiología Clínica (AMIMC) for 2015-2017, and an IAS Member since 2007. Dr Ramirez was Local Chair of the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Mexico City in 2019. She has participated in Phase II-IV clinical trials with anti-HIV/AIDS and opportunistic infection therapies as principal investigator and sub-investigator.

Ayesha Kharsany

Ayesha Kharsany is an Associate Professor in Medical Microbiology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She has a PhD and a Masters in epidemiology from Columbia University, New York, USA, and is a member of The Academy of Science of South Africa. As a senior scientist and epidemiologist at CAPRISA, she has extensive research, professional and leadership experience and plays a leading role in the design, regulatory requirements, operations and analysis of HIV and STI epidemiological studies. She focuses on understanding: the evolving HIV epidemic in South Africa; factors influencing HIV acquisition in young women; monitoring HIV prevalence and incidence in association with the scale up of prevention efforts in real-world, non-trial settings; and the cycle of transmission in generalized hyperendemic HIV epidemic settings that are heterosexually driven. She is a principal investigator on several studies and was a co-investigator on the ground-breaking CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial.

Nittaya Phanuphak

Nittaya Phanuphak is Executive Director of the Institute of HIV Research and Innovation in Bangkok, Thailand. She started her career in HIV in 2002 by leading a prevention of mother-to-child transmission operational study, which resulted in Thai guidelines allowing the use of three-drug antiretroviral regimens for pregnant women in 2010. Nittaya has a deep interest in key population-led health services (KPLHS), which empower lay providers, members of key populations, to perform HIV/STI testing and dispense PrEP/PEP, antiretroviral treatment and STI treatment to their peers. She is working towards establishing national accreditation and domestic financing systems for key population lay providers to ensure KPLHS sustainability. Nittaya oversees the key population-led Princess PrEP programme, HPTN 083 and the HIV self-testing and PrEP project for men who have sex with men and transgender women aged 15-19 years in Thailand. Nittaya has served as the Asia Pacific representative on the IAS Governing Council since 2018.

Morten Ussing

Morten Ussing heads the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Governance and Multilateral Affairs division. He is responsible for coordinating the functioning of UNAIDS governance structures, including the Programme Coordinating Board and its Bureau, and the work of the Committee of the Executive Heads of the 11 Cosponsoring UN Organizations, as well as UNAIDS engagement in other intergovernmental and inter-agency bodies. Morten took this position after four years in the UNAIDS Executive Office. He is an international business economist and has previously worked in the resource mobilization divisions of UNAIDS and UNHCR. He worked in the Balkans for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees after being part of the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina for his native Denmark.

Geoff Garnett

Geoff Garnett joined the Gates Foundation in 2011 and is Deputy Director for Global Health on the TB and HIV team. In this role, he works on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery. Previously, he was a Professor in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London and a Reader at Oxford University working on the epidemiology, evolution and control of sexually transmitted infections. At Imperial College, he directed the Masters in Epidemiology course. Geoff has served as Chair of the UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates Models and Projections and on several Institute of Medicine and Wellcome Trust panels. He holds an undergraduate degree in zoology, a PhD in pure science from Sheffield University and an MSc in biological computation from York University. His professional training includes a Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship in Mathematical Biology and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at Oxford University.

Howard Njoo

Dr Howard Njoo is the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and Interim Vice-President of the Infectious Diseases Program Branch at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He is also Co-Chair of the Communicable and Infectious Diseases Steering Committee, Dr Njoo has worked at all levels of the federal system of government in Canada as a public health physician and medical epidemiologist, with a focus on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, and tuberculosis. He has continued practising as a frontline clinician in infectious diseases. Dr Njoo earned his medical degree and Masters in Health Science from the University of Toronto. He earned his certification with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in community medicine. Dr Njoo is a consultant physician at the Ottawa Hospital Tuberculosis Clinic and has an adjunct appointment at the University of Ottawa School of Epidemiology and Public Health.

Tanaka Chirombo

Tanaka Chirombo, Malawi’s adolescent activist of the year in 2020, is a highly motivated young man who believes young people are at the centre of global health. Tanaka is a public health student at the University of Livingstonia (Laws campus) and a board member representing eastern and southern Africa on the Global Y+. He is Co-Chair of the Adolescent Treatment Coalition, where he affirms his commitment to ensuring that adolescents are getting good-quality care. He is currently on the International Workshop on HIV and Adolescence 2021 Organizing Committee as the Adolescent Chair. He is one of the two African Union Youth Charter Hustlers who have also been directly involved in the civic space as he is a graduate of the Next Generation Civil Society Leader’s Academy under the National Democratic Institution advocating for policy enforcement and implementation.