New Hartford Grad is Top American at WHO Fighting COVID-19
A former Central New Yorker is a key player in the World Health Organization's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Maria Van Kerkhove (formerly DeJoseph) is a New Hartford native, now living in Switzerland. Maria is also the infectious-disease epidemiologist serving as the WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19. She has become a public face for WHO - participating in video press conferences every week - answering questions for journalists.
In an exclusive story by The Hill, Maria Van Kerkhove reveals that it was her AP Biology teacher at New Hartford High School that sparked an interest in science that eventually led her to her new role at the WHO. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, a MS Degree at Stanford University, and a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Her twin sister, Alisa DeJoseph, tells us the teacher is Peter Goodfriend. "We are incredibly proud of the work she and her colleagues are doing! She’s been working her entire career to respond to this event," Alisa added.