President Barak Obama has announced his intent to nominate Dr. Deborah L. Birx, a 1976 graduate of Houghton College, as ambassador at large and coordinator of United States government activities to combat HIV/AIDS globally. Dr. Birx is currently the director of the division of global HIV/AIDS in the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a position she has held since 2009.

She served on active duty in the U. S. Army for 29 years, retiring in 2008 with the rank of colonel. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina, a consultant to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.