On November 21, The Atlantic and the MAC Aids Fund will present the inaugural Talk is Cheap: Saving Lives, Ending AIDS, and Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is, a Digital Town Hall convening experts from around the world for honest conversation to galvanize a complacent American public and corporate establishment to pay attention to this disease. Through a curated panel of experts and keynote interviews, we'll discuss these issues in front of live and online audiences, our goal is to bring the fight against AIDS to the forefront of international conversation.
Steve Clemons is Washington editor at large for The Atlantic and editor of Atlantic Live. He writes frequently about politics and foreign affairs.
Clemons is a senior fellow and the founder of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, a centrist think tank in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as executive vice president. He writes and speaks frequently about the D.C. political scene, foreign policy, and national security issues, as well as domestic and global economic-policy challenges.
Wafaa M. El-Sadr
Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, founded and currently directs ICAP which works in sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and in the U.S. in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations building in-country capacity for HIV prevention, care, and treatment and related issues. More than one million individuals living with HIV have gained access to HIV services and more than 500,000 have received access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy through these programs. ICAP champions a family-focused approach consistent with the one pioneered at Harlem Hospital through a multidisciplinary team of providers and based on building meaningful partnerships with governmental and non-governmental organizations within countries. Dr. El-Sadr has also led efforts to support the capacity of health systems through the many programs that ICAP has established. Her work has also advanced the concepts of health systems strengthening globally for the purpose of confronting major health threats faced by communities around the world. For two decades, Dr. El-Sadr served as chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital Center in New York City. In this role, she was instrumental in developing a comprehensive HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis program focused on service, training, and research. This unique program applies a family-focused approach, uses multidisciplinary teams, and engages community members. Dr. El-Sadr has led the design and implementation of numerous studies that have furthered the understanding of the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. In 2008, Dr. El-Sadr was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow and in 2009 she became a member of the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Fauci was appointed Director of NIAID in 1984. He oversees an extensive research portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism.
Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.
Stephen Lewis is a professor in Global Health, faculty of Social Sciences, at McMaster University and is co-director of AIDS-Free World, a new international AIDS advocacy organization. He is also the chair of the board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Canada.
Lewis was previously the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006. From 1995 to 1999, Lewis was deputy executive director of UNICEF at the organization's global headquarters in New York. From 1984 through 1988, Lewis was Canada's ambassador to the United Nations. Lewis holds twenty-five honorary degrees from Canadian universities and is a companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honor for lifetime achievement.
Deborah Persaud is the Associate Professor in Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.
Danny Resnic is the inventor of the ORIGAMI Condoms™ and he has served as principal investigator of four NIH-funded clinical trials. His determination and commitment to reinvent the condom into a user-friendly and pleasurable device have been internationally recognized among researchers and in the media. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation acknowledged the company as the leading private sector innovator reinventing the condom. Danny studied design at the Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA).
Jeffrey Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Since 2010 he has also served as a Commissioner for the Broadband Commission for Digital Development which leverages broadband technologies as a key enabler for social and economic development. He has authored Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet.
Originally one of the youngest economics professors in the history of Harvard University, Sachs became renowned for implementing economic shock therapy throughout the developing world, and subsequently for his work on the challenges of economic development, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, debt cancellation, and globalization.
Gabriel became Editor of The Atlantic Wire in 2011. Under his tenure, the site has adopted exciting new voices and features — and skyrocketed to record traffic levels. Prior to joining the Wire, Gabriel was Editor-in-Chief of Gawker.com, which he is credited with elevating to national popularity. He has also been a writer at Variety, W, and The Observer.
Peter Staley is an American AIDS and gay rights activist, known for founding the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the educational website AIDSmeds.com.
Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.
Phil Wilson is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Black AIDS Institute.
Prior to founding the Institute, Wilson served as the AIDS Coordinator for the City of Los Angeles from 1990 to 1993, the Director of Policy and Planning at AIDS Project Los Angeles from 1993 to 1996. He was co-chair of the Los Angeles County HIV Health Commission from 1990 to 1995, and was an appointee to the HRSA AIDS Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1998.
Wilson was the coordinator of the International Community Treatment and Science Workshop at the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th International AIDS Conferences in Geneva, Switzerland; Durban, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; Bangkok, Thailand; and Toronto, Canada.
Wilson was the co-founder of the National Black Lesbian and Gay Leadership Forum and the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. He has been involved in the founding of a number of other AIDS service organizations and community-based organizations, including the Chris Brownlie Hospice, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the National Minority AIDS Council, the Los Angeles County Gay Men of Color Consortium, and the CAEAR Coalition.
The Ford Foundation named Wilson one of the 20 award recipients for the Leadership for a Changing World, in 2001. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the 1994 World AIDS Summit in Paris, and has worked extensively on HIV/AIDS policy, research, prevention, and treatment issues in Russia, Latvia, the Ukraine, the UK, Holland, Germany, France, Mexico, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, India, and Botswana.
He has published articles in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, LA Weekly, Essence, Ebony, Vibe, Jet, POZ, HIV+ and other periodicals.
Wilson is a recent recipient of the Delta Spirit Award from the Delta Sigma Theta Los Angeles chapter. He was given the Discovery Health Channel Medical Honor in July 2004 and was recently named one of the "2005 Black History Makers in the Making" by Black Entertainment Television.
Wilson holds a BA in Fine Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.