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US president names young ecumenical leader to White House panel

US president names young ecumenical leader to White House panel

Dr Ulysses Burley III, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. © Peter Williams/WCC

20 May 2015

US President Barack Obama has named Dr Ulysses Burley III to a presidential advisory panel on HIV and AIDS.

One of a new generation of World Council of Churches (WCC) leaders, Burley is one of the youngest appointees to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) in the United States.

Aged 32, he is a medical doctor, a Clinical Research Associate at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a lay preacher in the WCC member church the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), advising on HIV and AIDS and a regular blogger on the site called the Salt Collective.

“We celebrate with him and also remember to lift him up in prayer for his new ministry”, said WCC general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, who met Burley in Washington, D.C., last week.

PACHA provides advice, information, and recommendations regarding programmes and policies intended to promote effective prevention of HIV and to advance research on HIV and AIDS.

The White House asks PACHA to provide recommendations on how to effectively implement the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, as well as monitor the strategy's implementation.

Burley serves on the WCC gender advisory group and is a member of the WCC’s executive committee and its central committee, the main governing body of the council.

Burley was elected as a central committee member at the WCC's 10th Assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea, in November 2013.

During his training as a medical doctor, Burley completed some of his studies in South America.

Burley began working with HIV and AIDS patients, and says that his work strengthened his ties to his own faith tradition and to ecumenical work.

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