Debra Y. Fraser-Howze, former senior vice president of government and external affairs at OraSure Technologies, Inc., to be the keynote speaker for the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast. The 22nd annual celebration honoring Dr. King is scheduled for Monday, January 21, 2019, at 8 a.m. in the Mattioli Recreation Center on ESU’s campus. The theme of this year’s breakfast is “The time is always right to do what is right.”
Ms. Fraser-Howze joined OraSure Technologies, a leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of oral fluid diagnostic and collection devices and other technologies designed to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions, in January 2008. Fraser-Howze was charged with developing business opportunities in new markets, she worked with lawmakers to ensure resources were available to communities in need of testing, and developed external opportunities with clients, stakeholders and business partners.
While at OraSure Technologies, Fraser-Howze played a critical role in launching the Company’s OraQuick In-Home HIV Test (2012) and the OraQuick Rapid HCV Test (2010). Both innovations are the first and only such tests to be approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fraser-Howze was also instrumental in securing $30 million in government funding for the clinical development of the Company’s OraQuick Rapid Ebola Test (2015) and the OraQuick Rapid Zika Test (2016) – the former of which is currently being deployed in West Africa under FDA Emergency Use Authorization.
Prior to joining OraSure Technologies, Fraser-Howze served as the President/CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), an organization she founded in 1987. NBLCA conducts policy, research and advocacy on HIV and AIDS to ensure effective participation of its leadership in all policy and resource allocation decisions at the national, state and local levels of communities of African descent nationwide. NBLCA is now the largest black HIV and AIDS non-profit organization of its kind in America.
Fraser-Howze has been widely recognized for more than three decades of global leadership to communities of color regarding teenage pregnancy, social welfare, and HIV and AIDS. She advised two U.S. Presidents while serving on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 1995-2001.
Fraser-Howze was the Vice Chair of the HIV Human Services Planning Council in New York City and chaired the National Institute of Heath’s Public Education Technology Committee. In 2003, she was appointed to the New York City Commission on AIDS and in 2007 to the New York State Governors Health Advisory Council. In 2009, she was the recipient of the National Medical Association’s (NMA) highest honor, Scroll of Merit, and in 2010 she was inducted into the Hunter College Hall of Fame for distinguished achievement.
Fraser-Howze is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Hunter College School of Public Health, New York City AIDS Memorial, AIDS United and Iris House.
Fraser-Howze holds a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal communications from Hunter College and a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College.