Asia/Pacific Office

Erika Elvander
Director, Asia/Pacific Office
Office of Global Affairs
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Phone: (202) 690-6174, (202)-260-0399
Email: [email protected]

The Asia/Pacific Office represents the United States in regional health negotiations and policy discussions on topics ranging from cancer research and healthy ageing to global health security and antimicrobial resistance. We maintain relationships with country governments and ministries of health, support the U.S. government’s health collaboration agreements with countries in the region, and are the primary liaison for U.S. Government engagement with the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for the Western Pacific exit disclaimer icon, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations exit disclaimer icon, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation exit disclaimer icon. Our team includes the HHS Health Attachés in China and India, who represent the United States in regional policy negotiations, act as a resource for representatives of other U.S. agencies, and are the United States’ main health contact for addressing health-related issues, including health emergencies. The office also includes a liaison with the U.S. Pacific Command exit disclaimer icon who works with us on civil-military health policy in the region.

What We Do: Examples of Our Work

  • U.S.-India Collaboration on Cancer and Traditional Medicine: The Asia/Pacific Office coordinated U.S. engagement in the first-ever meeting of the U.S.-India working group on cancer and workshop on traditional medicines this year. The meetings fulfilled a commitment from the first U.S.-India Health Dialogue, held between President Obama and India’s Prime Minister in 2015. Both countries are now working to strengthen research collaboration on traditional medicine and cancer; improve the standardization, quantification, and quality improvement of traditional medicine products; and will form joint working groups to take forward the consultation process, information sharing, mutual learning on cancer palliative care products.

    The meeting included representatives from OGA, the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute, U.S. and Indian research institutes and universities, and India’s Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH).
  • Health Attachés: HHS has had longstanding partnerships with China and India food and drug regulation and safety, infectious disease surveillance and detection, and biomedical research. HHS has posted health attachés in both countries to coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health, and to work closely with our counterparts to support our mutual health goals.
  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): The Asia/Pacific Office coordinated the first ministerial meeting (over videoconference) between HHS and ASEAN on April 29, 2020. This meeting followed a US-ASEAN health experts meeting on April 28, and formally inaugurated engagement between the U.S. and ASEAN on COVID-19 as well as other health issues. On April 22, 2020, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the U.S.-ASEAN Health Futures Initiative, which formalized part of HHS’s bilateral and multilateral engagement with the ASEAN member states. HHS and ASEAN will collaborate to counter and mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and safeguard the health and well-being of all our one billion plus peoples to meet our shared goals of stability and prosperity for our nations.
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