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H.E. Amira Elfadil (Commissioner for Social Affairs at African Union Commission)

H.E. Amira Elfadil

Commissioner for Social Affairs at African Union Commission

H.E. Amira El Fadil, born on 15 January 1967, a Sudanese woman was elected Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission. She was Minister of Social Welfare and Social Insurance for the Government of Sudan. H.E. El Fadil has worked with the Association of Women for Rural Development and Immigration, Women, Children and Family. H.E. El Fadil participated in the Women's Rally for Peace and conducted workshops and seminars on peace building and conflict resolution.

Jessye Lapenn (U.S. Ambassador to the African Union)

Jessye Lapenn

U.S. Ambassador to the African Union

Jessye Lapenn was sworn-in as the U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa on August 27, 2019. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she most recently served as the Chargé d’Affaires at U.S. Mission in South Africa from 2016-2019. Prior to this, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. She was Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali from 2012-2014.

Ambassador Lapenn entered the U.S. Foreign Service in October 1994. Her overseas tours have included Jeddah, Riyadh, Paris, Tbilisi, Baghdad, and Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, she was the Chief of the Political Section at the U.S. Consulate General, and at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, she was responsible for regional refugee assistance and policy in the South Caucuses and Central Asia.

She has completed several domestic U.S. assignments as well, including roles as staff for the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, desk officer for Libya and Tunisia, and director of the Office of Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in the Bureau of International Organizations. Ambassador Lapenn has served as an advisor on Security Council matters for the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations in New York and a State Department fellow at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dr. John Nkengasong (Director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Dr. John Nkengasong

Director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. John Nkengasong is Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to his current position, he served as the acting deputy principal director of the Center for Global Health, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB., U.S CDC. He received a Master’s in Tropical Biomedical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and another Master’s Degree in Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Brussels School of Medicine and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences (Virology) from the University Of Brussels, Belgium.

Between 1993-95, he was Chief of the Virology and the WHO Collaborating Center on HIV diagnostics, at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. He joined the U.S. CDC in 1995 as Chief of the Virology Laboratory, U.S. CDC Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He has received numerous awards for his work including: the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for excellence in Public Health Protection Research, the Sheppard Award, the U.S. Director’s Recognitions Award and, most recently, the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by CDC, for outstanding contributions and leadership in advancing global laboratory services and programs to support the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He is also recipient of the Knight of Honour medal by the government of Cote d’Ivoire, and was knighted on June 19, 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, for his significant contributions to public health. He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative – CEPI and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) among others. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and published several book chapters.