amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Mervyn F. Silverman, M.D., M.P.H.

San Francisco Gala 2008 Honoree

Merv SilvermanIn 1983, Drs. Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi isolated the retrovirus later named human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.  That same year, Dr. Mervyn F. Silverman, as the director of San Francisco’s Department of Public Health (1977–1985), was instrumental in launching a citywide program to combat the frightening, growing AIDS epidemic. The program was the first of its kind; subsequently, it was recognized as a model to be replicated nationwide.

In January 1986, Dr. Silverman became amfAR’s national spokesperson; five months later, he was elected to the board and named president of the Foundation and served in both positions simultaneously for nearly ten years.  Subsequently, he served as chairman and director of amfAR’s annual National HIV/AIDS Update Conference (NAUC).  In 2005, Dr. Silverman became an adjunct trustee, as well as a member of amfAR’s program board and chair of that board’s Global Initiatives Committee.

Earlier, Dr. Silverman was the director of Community Health in Wichita, Kansas, and the medical director of Planned Parenthood of Kansas.  He has held numerous other leadership positions, including directorships at the Robert Wood Johnson AIDS Health Services Program, the Office of Consumer Affairs of the Food and Drug Administration, and the East Asia and Pacific Regional Medical Office of the Peace Corps.

Dr. Silverman’s many academic and organizational appointments include faculty positions at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; and the University of Hawaii School of Public Health.  He has also served on the boards of more than 25 organizations and associations and has authored chapters, articles, editorials, and reviews in a variety of publications.

Included among his many honors are a designation as “Public Health Hero” by the University of California, Berkeley, and a “Heroes in Medicine” award from the Association of Physicians in AIDS Care.

Dr. Silverman received his B.A. from Washington and Lee University, his M.D. from Tulane University School of Medicine, and his M.P.H. from Harvard University.  Currently, he provides healthcare consulting services as president of Mervyn F. Silverman & Associates, Inc., based in Crockett, California.