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Nils Daulaire, Assistant Secretary, Global Affairs Nils Daulaire, Assistant Secretary, Global Affairs

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Health and Human Services Department

Nils Daulaire, Assistant Secretary, Global Affairs

Daulaire, 64, grew up in central Vermont and had always intended to stay there, as a family physician. He had just finished his training at Harvard Medical School when a trip to Bangladesh changed his life. Seeing how small interventions could mean tremendous improvements in the health of the world's poorest populations made him drop his parochial ambitions and commit to a career in global health. He now holds the Obama administration's top job in that field, one that enables him to run programs to reduce preventable illness overseas, even as he closely monitors faraway health threats that could migrate to the United States. (He's got his eye on the H7N9 bird flu in China.) Daulaire, who speaks seven languages, spent much of his career abroad, including a long tour in Nepal, where his two children grew up. Since returning to the States, he has held several high-profile jobs in worldwide health advocacy, including 10 years at the Global Health Council, where he developed relationships on Capitol Hill that helped build support for such programs, notably President George W. Bush's groundbreaking PEPFAR, which has spent billions of dollars on global AIDS eradication. Daulaire still travels. His wife holds a top job in Seattle at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And there's Vermont. "When I can, I get back to my family's farm in Vermont, where I had planned to be a country doctor," he said. "And I guess I am a country doctor, but my concept of countries has changed."

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