White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha is leaving the Biden administration to return to his previous role at a university.
Upon his return, Jha will focus on "transforming public health education, research, and practice," according to the school.
"We are in a world drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic," Jha said in announcing his stepping down.
"For all we have accomplished to reduce illness and save lives, COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses in our public health and healthcare systems," he said.
"I look forward to returning to Brown to continue our groundbreaking work transforming public health education, research, and practice to convert these weaknesses to strengths."
He stepped into the role of White House COVID-19 response coordinator during a surge in Omicron variant cases and oversaw nationwide vaccine distribution while advising on pandemic preparedness and response.
Biden Praises Jha's Public ServicePresident Joe Biden praised Jha in a separate statement on June 8 while noting that "we now have the tools to manage COVID-19 and the virus no longer controls our daily lives," which he credited to his administration’s "whole-of-government approach."
"For the last year, I have relied on Dr. Ashish Jha to help me do just that as the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. As one of the leading public health experts in America, he has effectively translated and communicated complex scientific challenges into concrete actions that helped save and improve the lives of millions of Americans," Biden said.
"I extend my deepest thanks to Ashish and his family. We are a stronger and healthier nation because of his contributions to public service," he said.
"It’s a transition, and it’s a transition to a period of time where we can manage this virus in a way that’s not disruptive," Jha said. "But we are absolutely committed to continuing the fight against COVID and continuing the fight against future pandemics."