“I am excited to name Dr Ashish Jha as the new White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. Dr Jha is one of the leading public health experts in America and a well-known figure to many Americans from his wise and calming public presence,” Biden said in the statement.
The 51-year-old Bihar-born Jha replaces Jeff Zients, a management consultant and former top economic adviser to President Barack Obama.
“Jeff spent the last 14 months working tirelessly to help combat COVID. He is a man of service and an expert manager. I will miss his counsel and I’m grateful for his service,” the US President said.
He also appreciated both Jeff and Dr Jha for working closely to ensure a smooth transition, and he looks forward to continued progress in the months ahead.
Taking to Twitter Dr Jha said: “So, as they say…Some news. For all the progress we’ve made in this pandemic(and there is a lot). We still have important work to do to protect Americans’ lives and well-being. So, when @POTUS asked me to serve, I was honoured to have the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, in a statement, Brown’s School of Public Health said that Dr Jha, “The dean of Brown’s School of Public Health a globally recognized expert on pandemic preparedness and response, will take leave for a temporary assignment to serve in the critical federal government role.”
Acccording to the school, Jha is a practicing physician with deep expertise in infectious diseases. He was appointed to lead the School of Public Health in February 2020, weeks before COVID-19 arrived in full force in the U.S., and he began as dean in September 2020.
He joined the University after leading the Harvard Global Health Institute and teaching at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.
Jha was born in Pursaulia, Bihar in 1970 and moved to Canada in 1979 and then to the United States in 1983.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1992 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997, he trained in internal medicine at the University of California in San Francisco.
He completed his general medicine fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School and received his master of public health in 2004 from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. (ANI)