By Nora Samaranayake

The First Maeve Kennedy McKean Fellow in Global Health will Begin in July

The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine announced today the Maeve Kennedy McKean Global Public Health Fellowship, named in honor of the public health activist, whose inspiring life ended tragically alongside her oldest son last week.  The first fellow will arrive on July 1 and will work on the Institute’s efforts in ending the HIV epidemic in Africa within its Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (CIHEB) and Division of Clinical Care and Research.

“The Institute worked closely with Maeve over the years, and in particular, through her mother, The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend,” said Robert Gallo, MD, The Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Co-Founder and Chairman of the International Scientific Leadership Board of the Global Virus Network (GVN).  “Maeve shared her mother’s values, sprightly energetic force, devotion to public health and to the needy.  Maeve’s passing is not just a loss to her loved ones, but society at large, leaving a void in our nation’s global health efforts.  We are pleased to honor her memory with the Maeve Kennedy McKean Global Public Health Fellowship.”

Maeve Kennedy McKean (Courtesy Photo/ihv.umaryland.edu)

“At this difficult time, it is a blessing to know that Dr. Gallo and IHV decided to honor Maeve’s abiding dedication to global health,” said The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Chair of the Board of Advisors of the IHV, former chair of the Board of Directors of the GVN and recipient of the 2019 IHV Lifetime Achievement for Public Service Award. “Her work will now endure in the research and care that the clinicians supported by this fellowship will be able to provide in the areas of the world in need of our attention, precisely what Maeve cared most about.  She served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique and made numerous trips to many countries in Africa, including Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Angola, and South Africa. She wanted to bring a light to areas that are often forgotten and neglected, because she believed that every person deserved a healthy life. I look forward to following the work that these extraordinary fellows will do in the years ahead.”  In her previous role as Lt. Governor of Maryland, Kennedy Townsend was a key advisor to Gallo and his team while establishing the Institute in 1996.

“I remember Maeve as an inspirational friend, who was always passionate about caring for those who needed it the most,” said Shyam Kottilil, MBBS, PhD, FACP, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Clinical Care and Research at the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  “It is most appropriate that this fellowship honoring her gives the opportunity to promote global health training for the younger generation of doctors.”

“The Maeve Kennedy McKean Global Health Fellowship at IHV is an important initiative that exemplifies our Institute’s efforts in improving the health of people living with HIV in Africa by supporting a global health career for younger clinicians and making the lives of others better around the world,” said Man Charurat, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for International Health, Education, and Biosecurity (CIHEB) and Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“Maeve’s boundless energy, infectious enthusiasm and dedication to global health not only characterized this extraordinary woman, it embodied the values that we are now learning in this critical time,” said Terry Lierman, Co-Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Maeve,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, UM Baltimore, the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.  “It is particularly heart-breaking since we have a longstanding personal relationship with her mother, The Honorable Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.  It is only fitting that this fellowship is named in Maeve’s honor.”

McKean recently served as the Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative at Georgetown University. Additionally, McKean taught Bioethics & Social Justice at Georgetown Law and Conversations in Global Health at the School of Foreign Service. Prior to joining Georgetown, she was an associate research professor and senior policy advisor at the City University of New York’s School of Public Health where she helped establish the Center for Immigrant, Refugee and Global Health. During the Obama Administration, McKean was the first-ever senior advisor for human rights in the United States Department of State’s global AIDS program and the Office of Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she led teams on working with human rights policy issues, women’s and children’s health, and LGBTQ health.  Mckean served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique and previously on the staff of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in California and Washington, D.C.  Maeve received her B.A. from Boston College. At Georgetown University, McKean earned a J.D. from Georgetown Law and a master’s degree in international negotiations and conflict resolution from the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

About the Institute of Human Virology

Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally-recognized and world-renowned experts in all of virology. The IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders – most notably, HIV the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, www.ihv.org and follow us on Twitter @IHVmaryland.