Health Care

From Surges to Strategy: Putting a National COVID-19 Testing Plan in Place

August 7, 2020  • Aspen Ideas: Health

As COVID-19 cases surge toward 5 million in the US, is it still possible to put an effective testing and tracing plan in place? The Rockefeller Foundation has released a renewed national action plan outlining a way to reach 30 million tests per week by October, the number they believe is necessary to reopen communities and economies safely. Join Aspen Ideas: Health for a conversation with Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Amna Nawaz, PBS correspondent, about the importance of testing in the battle against COVID-19.

About the Speakers:

Rajiv Shah
President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Since 2017 Dr. Rajiv (Raj) Shah has served as President of The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world.

Appointed USAID Administrator by President Obama in 2009, Dr. Shah reshaped the $20 billion agency’s operations in more than 70 countries around the world by elevating the role of innovation, creating high impact public-private partnerships, and focusing US investments to deliver stronger results. He also led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture.

Previously, Shah founded Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia, and served as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he created the International Financing Facility for Immunization which helped reshape the global vaccine industry and save millions of lives.

Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business.
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Amna Nawaz
Senior National Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

Amna Nawaz joined PBS NewsHour in April 2018 and serves as senior national correspondent and primary substitute anchor.

At the NewsHour, Nawaz has reported politics, foreign affairs, education, climate change, culture and sports. Her immigration reporting has taken her to multiple border communities in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. She’s investigated the impact of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and regularly covers issues around detention, refugees and asylum, and migrant children in U.S. government custody. In December 2019, Nawaz co-moderated the PBS NewsHour/Politico Democratic Presidential Primary Debate, becoming the first Asian American and the first Muslim American in history to moderate a presidential debate.

Prior to joining the NewsHour, Nawaz was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s digital coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as a foreign correspondent at NBC News, reporting from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, and the broader region. She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian America platform, built to elevate the voices of America’s fastest-growing population.

In 2019, her reporting as part of a NewsHour series on the global plastic problem was the recipient of a Peabody Award. Nawaz has also been honored with an Emmy Award for the NBC News Special “Inside the Obama White House,” a Society for Features Journalism Award, and was a recipient of the International Reporting Project fellowship in 2009. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she captained the varsity field hockey team, and later earned her master’s degree from the London School of Economics.