The International AIDS Society (IAS) has elected its new governing council, including Adeeba Kamarulzaman of the University of Malaysia as its president, according to an IAS press release.

The organization is the largest association of HIV professionals in the world, with members spanning 170 countries. IAS stewards numerous HIV conferences, including this year’s International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020), which is taking place virtually this week.

“The new members joining the IAS Governing Council add a great diversity of skills and experiences,” Kamarulzaman said in the press release. “They will be pivotal in steering IAS into the future and dealing with a fast-changing scientific, social and political landscape. I am particularly happy to announce that, for the first time, our Governing Council is majority female, with 13 women and 12 men.”

Kamarulzaman  is a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne and is currently the dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and an adjunct associate professor at Yale University. She has long been a leader in the HIV field, establishing the Infectious Disease Unit and the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS at the University of Malaysia Medical Centre.

According to the IAS announcement, one of her areas of interest is HIV harm reduction measures for people who use drugs.

Her election marks the first time an Asian person has been elected president of IAS. The leading members of the governing council, which sets the agenda and strategy of IAS, include:

  • Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Malaysia, President
  • Sharon Lewin, Australia, President-Elect
  • Jennifer Kates, United States, Treasurer
  • Anton Pozniak, United Kingdom, Immediate Past President (nonvoting)
  • Kevin Osborne, Switzerland, Executive Director (nonvoting).

To read POZ’s coverage of this year’s virtual international conference, click #AIDS 2020.