DR. GOULDA A. DOWNER
Goulda Downer, PhD, RD, LN, CNS, FAND is an Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, at Howard University. She also currently serves as Project Director and Principal Investigator for Howard’s Capital Region AETC Telehealth Training Center (HU-CRTP). Prior to her faculty appointment at Howard, Dr. Downer served as Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Public Health Nutrition at Georgetown University Medical School; as the Director of Medical Education for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; on the Nutrition Faculty in the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University; as a nutrition expert to the U.S. Department of Justice, the United States Agency for International Development and the DC Superior Court.
To reduce stigma with respect to HIV/ADS in the clinical community, Dr. Downer worked with other institutional partners to develop and launch the National Clinicians HIV/AIDS Testing and Awareness Day (NCHATAD). With the support of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and her colleagues, NCHATAD was approved by Congress in 2007. Also, when reports showed that the District was the epicenter of HIV in the US, and that HIV care was not optimal, Dr. Downer appealed to District’s leaders - in her then role as Chair for the DC State Health Coordinating Council - to mandate that clinicians practicing in the District be required to take Continuing Medical Education courses annually. The DC City Council approved Bill B19-510 which requires three (3) hours of HIV/AIDS Continuing Education credits beginning in 2014.
Dr. Downer was among the first group of experts that the Obama Administration consulted regarding the culturally competent approach to addressing HIV in Communities of Color. This consultation led to the development of the nation’s first HIV Strategic Plan (the Plan). When the President launched the Plan at the White House in 2010, Dr. Downer was among the guests invited to participate.
In 2013, Dr. Downer received the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award for strengthening the U.S. Culturally Competent HIV Clinical Workforce. The award was is recognizition of Dr. Downer’s leadership of a consortium of nationally recognized institutions which educated and trained over fifty-six thousand (56,000) clinicians, throughout the country, in the delivery of culturally competent HIV care.
A recognized expert in the field of nutrition and food security, Dr. Downer has served as an advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in evaluating the impact of the President's “Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief” (PEPFAR) programs in sub-Saharan Africa. She has also served as Howard’s Principal Investigator for the USAID funded “Central Asian Program on AIDS Control in Vulnerable Populations” through the CAPACITY project managed by John Snow, Inc. Also, with the support of a Ford Foundation Grant, Dr. Downer implemented Howard’s “Caribbean Clinician Preceptorship Program.” This innovative project sought to improve the clinical outcomes of “Caribbean People Living with HIV/AIDS” by engaging clinicians from fourteen (14) Caribbean countries in intensively focused capacity building preceptorships.
Dr. Downer has served as an advisory board member to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); as an expert HIV reviewer for the National Institute of Health (NIH); as Chair of the Board of Nutrition and Dietetics of the DC Department of Health; as a member of the HIV Nutrition Guidelines Expert Panel and Co-Leader of the Food, Water Safety and Other Issues group of the Expert Panel, of the US Department Health and Human services and as Chair of the District’s Statewide Health Coordinating Council. In her civic life, Dr. Downer currently serves as Chair of the Caribbean-American Political Action Committee (C-PAC).
Dr. Downer is an alum of Pratt Institute (BS) and Howard University (MS; PhD). She gained her postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Nutrition at Georgetown University and was also educated in Nutritional Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University.