Mamadi Yilla, Ph.D., Deputy Coordinator for Multi-Sector Responsibility and Diplomacy
Mamadi Yilla, Ph.D., is the Deputy Coordinator for Multi-Sector Responsibility and Diplomacy in the Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy (S/GAC).
She manages multi-sector partnerships for PEPFAR through the Office of Multilateral Affairs, overseeing relationships with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund); International Organizations, including UNAIDS and the World Health Organization; and bilateral and other multilateral relationships. In addition, she is responsible for growing private sector collaboration, including partnership development and public-private partnerships through the Office of Private Sector Engagement.
She also serves as the Interim Acting Deputy Coordinator for Strategy and Global Health Diplomacy. In this capacity, she oversees the Deputy’s portfolio, which is inclusive of PEPFAR’s internal and external communications, public affairs, policy, and congressional efforts. The Deputy is also responsible for leading PEPFAR’s adolescent girls and young women’s portfolio as well as the global health diplomacy efforts.
Yilla has served PEPFAR for over a decade, holding various roles at the country level and at headquarters. Her skills as a health scientist and experiences in diplomacy, strategic negotiations, communications, and in interpersonal relationships have assisted the U.S. government to codify commitments with partner governments and civil society, ultimately equipping partner countries to further gain and maintain control of their AIDS epidemics. On behalf of S/GAC, she also provides oversight for the country programs in Zambia, Angola, Indonesia, and the Central American region.
Yilla joined S/GAC in 2011, serving the next three years as Director for Sustainability and Integration and promoting the U.S. government’s goals to advance the priorities of country ownership under PEPFAR and the Global Health Initiative. In 2006, she joined the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi, as Country Coordinator for PEPFAR. She worked extensively to advance the reach of the PEPFAR country team model for promoting U.S. foreign assistance in the health sector, working with Malawian counterparts, the Global Fund, UNAIDS, other cooperating agencies and governments, the host government, civil society, and implementing partners – both U.S. government and non-U.S. government-funded – to advance sustainability of the outcomes of PEPFAR-resourced interventions for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Prior to her public health experience in Africa, Yilla spent five years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), training in biochemistry and immunology. In 1997, she joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a research fellow in immunology were she collaborated on efforts to improve diagnostic tools for vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, particularly measles.
She has received honors for extraordinary leadership of the PEPFAR interagency team in the field, strong interagency and donor coordination, progress towards country ownership, and her ability to implement an effective PEPFAR response within the bounds of available resources.
Yilla received special citations for her leadership through the process of developing a pioneering partnership framework document with the Government of Malawi – leading the development, negotiation, and writing of the first ever PEPFAR Partnership Framework and its accompanying implementation plan. In 2015, she was appointed to the board of Executive Women at State, an organization that advances opportunities for civil service women to attain executive leadership roles at the U.S. Department of State.
Born and raised in Sierra Leone, Yilla was educated in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. She received her undergraduate and graduate training at the State University of New York at Buffalo and her post doctorate training at MIT. She is married and the mother of three daughters.