Goulda Downer, PhD, FAND, RD, LN, CNS

Dr. Goulda Downer

Goulda Downer, PhD, FAND, RD, LN, CNS

Principal Investigator/Project Director & Associate Professor at Howard University College of Medicine, AIDS Education Telehealth Training Center

Goulda A. Downer, PhD, RD, LN, CNS, FAND is an Associate  Professor in the College of Medicine at Howard University. Dr. Downer at the helm of the former HRSA-funded, National Minority AIDS Education and Training Center (NMAETC), and AIDS Education and Training Center-National Multicultural Center (AETC-NMC)  and Capital Region AETC Telehealth Training Center (HU-CRTP) now currently heads the Howard University Telehealth Training Center (HU-TTC).  Under her leadership, Howard University has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for strengthening the nation’s HIV clinical workforce within racial, ethnic minority and most vulnerable communities in a focused effort to reduce HIV disparity.  Enduring program success continues to be  accomplished via a consortium of nationally recognized partners led by Dr. Downer in the delivery of HIV and Cultural Competency education and training to well over  forty-nine thousand (49,000) clinicians during almost two decades of unbroken service to our Country.

Dr. Downer also serves as the Principal Investigator and Project Director for the Howard University first Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) then the Minority Serving Institution (MSI)  HIV/HCV Prevention Program (MSI- H2P). The aim of this ongoing effort is two-fold.  It is designed to strengthen the HIV/HCV clinical knowledge and skills of student health center clinicians on the campuses of MSIs and concomitantly educate students about how to safeguard their health. In so doing, the MSI-H2P is expected to contribute to better health outcomes relative to HIV and HCV for students who attend MSIs.  At the helm of  the Caribbean Clinicians’ Community of Practice (CCCoP) which is funded by Gilead Sciences, Inc.  Dr. Downer continues to expand her international footprint. The  aim of  CCCoP is to strengthen the HIV/HCV Clinical skills of Caribbean clinicians. The program began in ten island states and has now successfully expanded to eighteen with the highest burden of HIV and HCV in the region. Demonstrated impact has been clinical workforce strengthening and improved clinical outcome for patients.  CCCoP builds on Dr. Downer’s  previous successfully implemented Caribbean Clinician Preceptorship Program (HU-CCPP) which was  funded by the Ford Foundation. This innovative project sought to improve the clinical outcomes of Caribbean People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) by engaging Caribbean clinicians in intensively focused capacity building preceptorships. While leading the AIDS Education and Training Center activities, Dr. Downer has also served as the Principal Investigator of Project Resilience. This innovative HIV/STI prevention program funded by the NORFLET Fund sought to identify factors that enabled some youth living in high risk HIV settings to remain HIV negative while others living in the same environment became HIV positive.

She has also served as the Howard University Principal Investigator for the former Central Asian Program on AIDS Control in Vulnerable Populations through the CAPACITY project managed by John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and funded by USAID. For this project, Dr. Downer provided technical assistance to address cultural competency and HIV and other communicable diseases in Kazakhstan.

Within the past decade her portfolio has expanded to include Emergency Disaster Management. In 2019, Dr. Downer successfully completed the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Emergency Management Advanced Academy (NEMAA). She is also a national Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and manager. She has conducted research and published on, ”HIV and Emergency Preparedness”, developed training materials, and has lectured on Emergency Disaster situations nationally and internationally. She authored the chapter on “How Climate Change Directly Affects Food and Nutrition Security” in the 2018/2019 edition of the Caribbean/Latin America Disaster Readiness Manual and “Climate Change and the Caribbean: Strengthening Preparedness Measures” in the 2021/2022 edition. Her recent publication of relevance is, “Do Individuals Living with HIV know how to Access Resources in order to Safeguard their Health in the Event of Statewide Emergency Situations?”

A recognized expert in this field of nutrition and food security, Dr. Downer has been involved in several international efforts designed to assess the impact of USAID’s Title II program on food security, food aid and on the health and nutritional status of country participants in Sub-Saharan Africa; with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. She Co-Chaired the West Africa Region’s Nutrition and Agriculture Steering Committee for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) in 2011.  In collaboration with international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and others, the West Africa Region was able to identify and integrate country-specific nutrition-related best practices and approaches into program design and implementation that aligns with National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans for the regions of West Africa.

The former Assistant Clinical Professor/Director, Public Health Nutrition Services, Georgetown University Medical School, as well as Adjunct Nutrition Faculty in the School of Public Health, Exercise Science Program at the George Washington University, Dr. Downer has provided expert nutrition consulting services to the U.S. Department of Justice; United States Agency for International Development; and the DC superior Court Judges. She has served as advisory member on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Expert HIV reviewer for the National Institute of Health (NIH); Chair, Board of Nutrition and Dietetics, Department of Health, Health Regulation Administration, Washington, DC; HIV Nutrition Guidelines Panel Member and Co-Leader of the Food, Water Safety and Other Issues group of the Expert Panel, DHHS; Chairperson, Washington, DC Statewide Health Coordinating Council, Washington, DC; and Director of Medical Education for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS).

Dr. Downer has several publications in national journals and is the recipient of several awards including the 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust Leadership in Advocacy Award.  She also received the 2013 Health Care Leadership Award from the Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives, and was a Regional Finalist for the White House Fellowship Program.

She is an alum of Pratt Institute (BS); Howard University -MS and PhD degrees. She gained her postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Nutrition at Georgetown University and was also educated in Nutritional Epidemiology by the Johns Hopkins University. She was inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014.