21 May 2012

Africa: U.S. Rep. Karen Bass Announces New House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Staff Director

press release

Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) announced her new staff director, Eric Williams, who will assist in her new role as the Ranking Member of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights.

As staff director, Williams is responsible for helping set and accomplish the Democratic legislative and policy agenda on Africa, global health and human rights. Williams will provide guidance and counsel to Bass, the Congressional Black Caucus and Members of the Democratic Caucus.

"Eric's knowledge and hard work on foreign affairs matters has been a welcome addition in my personal office and now as my advisor on the subcommittee, I will be able to take advantage of his broad range of experience that has focused in each of the subcommittee's three focus areas," said Bass. "His experience working in Africa and on issues directly related to the continent makes him well prepared for the work that lies ahead. Now more than ever, Congress must focus on the great opportunities presented by unprecedented economic growth across the continent as well as the significant challenges presented by strife and famine."

Williams brings a wealth of experience to his new position having studied at University of Cape Town, and as a former public affairs and communications professional with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He has worked on global health projects in eastern and southern Africa and advocated on health and human rights.

Recently, Williams served as a senior policy associate at Physicians for Human Rights where he helped lead the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative which was established by a grant from the World Health Organization-based, Global Health Workforce Alliance. In this capacity, Williams spent time in Europe and eastern Africa helping raise awareness and bring attention to the global shortage of health workers, particularly in Africa. Williams also served as a policy and communications consultant for the GBCHealth (formerly the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria), amfAR, the Africa-based AMREF, and UK-based Merlin and Malaria Consortium. Williams is a graduate of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Bowdoin College.

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