The congratulations came pouring in Tuesday night on social media after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta, made the announcement.
Dr. Demetre Daskalakis will be the CDC’s new director of the division of HIV/AIDS prevention, the next step in a career that started in New York City and has continued through the coronavirus crisis.
Daskalakis has been a part of the team leading the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since last December, and also served at the incident commander during the city’s 2018 to 2019 measles outbreak.
He’s also served on the board of directors at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Kelsey Louie, the organization’s CEO, is thrilled for his former colleague and friend.
“He brought excitement, knowledge, skills and so much energy to that board,” Louie said.
A sentiment felt by many of those he’s worked with in the past.
The city’s former health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, tweeted, “Loss for #NYC, but great news for EHE,” which stands for Ending the HIV epidemic, an initiative aimed at reducing all new HIV infections by 90% by 2030.
The city’s current health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, also congratulated Daskalakis, tweeting a statement that says, in part, “During this pandemic Dr. Daskalakis has also helped steer the agency’s COVID-19 response, crafting guidance and coordinating with the city, state and federal partners.”
Rajesh Gandhi, the chair at the HIV Medicine Association, added, “He is a visionary public health leader whose experience will greatly advance the initiative to End the HIV epidemic in the US.
The CEO at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis couldn't agree more.
“He has the right combination of smarts and brilliance with bold ideas and actions, and when you have that as a combination, especially at a place like CDC, we’re just so excited and hopeful for all the things he can accomplish,” Louie said.
Daskalakis will begin his new position December 21.