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Exit Dybul

In the middle of swooning about Obama last week, David Brooks wrote:

For example, the other day, I read that he rehired Mark Dybul as his Global AIDS Coordinator.

Dybul is one of those heroes one meets too rarely in government. He worked as an AIDS doctor in San Francisco in the 1980s and when the worst effects of the plague migrated to Africa, he did too. Then George W. Bush hired him to run the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program before promoting him to Global AIDS Coordinator.

It must have sometimes been difficult for a gay man to work in the Bush administration, but Dybul handled it all with exceptional grace and super-human competence. I traveled through Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique with him once and was incredibly impressed.

My point is that there must be many people in the Democratic orbit who would like the job Dybul holds. There are no political rewards for rehiring someone from a past administration. But Obama bypassed them for the sake of the program. It was a pure merit choice, and typical of a lot of the moves he has made.

So it's interesting to read, via Laura Rozen, the Washington Blade's report that Obama has evidently changed his mind and asked Dybul to submit his resignation. The reason?

The sources claim that Obama's senior advisers were concerned about the negative reaction from some AIDS activists and reproductive rights groups to news that Dybul would be staying on. 

Brooks is right. There are a lot of people in the Democratic orbit who want Dybul's job. It'll be interesting to see who Obama picks for the post. And I wonder if Obama moved Dybul out because he had one particular person in mind.

--Jason Zengerle