In their short time alive, both Maeve and Gideon had an outsized impact. Stories of Gideon’s love and friendship and joy are shared by his friends, family, and teachers and more stories will be added. Each of the fellowships has a reference to Maeve’s work- we wanted highlight some of her accomplishments and better understand why so many professional tributes have been started in Maeve’s name.
Larium: Peace Corps and Dianne Feinstein’s Office
Entering into the Peace Corps in 2001, Maeve took the recommended malarial medicine, Larium. Then living in a hut in Quissico, Mozambique, four hours bus ride from a payphone and calling card to reach her U.S. family, she began having vivid, frightening, lifelike and life-threatening dreams. When asked about it later she said, “well, I knew I wasn’t crazy, so something else had to be going on.” Maeve realized that the medicine she was taking to protect her from malaria was causing suicidal thoughts and hallucinations.
Fast-forward two years, she had moved to San Diego, to live in a warm place by the ocean, and began working in Senator Diane Feinstein’s office in constituent services- answering calls from the public. San Diego has a large U.S. military population, and repeatedly families were calling to report that those deployed were having vivid hallucinatory, suicidal dreams. Maeve pinpointed that the military, like the peace corps, were prescribing Larium for soldiers deployed abroad.
The next year, working in Senator Feinstein’s D.C. office, she pushed for policy to remove Larium as an option for malaria medicine for U.S. armed forces. Completing this, her colleagues made her a plaque of the accomplishment. Maeve was 23 years old.
PAHO and Healthcare for LGBTQ
While working for the Office of Global Affairs at Health and Human Services, Maeve pushed for LGBTQ+ healthcare rights in U.S. and global policy. Recognizing that raising the issue of healthcare for MSM – Men who have Sex with Men- to all countries at the World Health Organization may be a nonstarter, she teamed up with colleagues at the Pan-American Health Organization- the Latin and Western Hemisphere wing of WHO, and got a resolution raised and recognized at the regional meeting. Once the resolution had recognition from the regional PAHO, it had to be raised at WHO. Maeve’s brilliance at work was not only valuing human rights and recognizing the need to fight for change for those who were historically attacked, she could diagnose the organization and system and knew how to advance her cause according to the rules already in place.
"Maeve spent her life working to make the world a better place - in her career and as a parent and
community member. As a legal fellow, Maeve brought her legal expertise to CHANGE’s advocacy efforts to promote human rights and evidence-based HIV prevention for women and girls in U.S. global AIDS policy and programs... Maeve was a tireless champion of global health and human rights - and an all-around wonderful person with a big heart and infectious smile. The world is a better place because of her."
Remembering Maeve - LGBTQ '44
"All of us had the privilege to work with Maeve as part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to advance the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons around the world. We were a family fighting to make sure
LGBTI persons globally were treated fairly, with equality and respect. We wanted to make sure their lives were protected. Maeve was a beloved and most valuable member of this family."
The Council for Global Equality
"We worked closely with Maeve during her time at HHS and OGAC/PEPFAR. Maeve quickly impressed us
as a kindred-spirit, clearly dedicated to using the positions she occupied to do as much as possible for
LGBTI people and other marginalized communities. Beyond an “ally” in the Administration, she had the
spirit of an activist, the brains of a policymaker, and the heart of a friend. These traits, along with her
skilled ability to maneuver in a huge government bureaucracy, propelled her lasting legacy in the global health field."
UNAIDS - A Tribute to Maeve from Regan Hoffman
"Maeve’s amazing contributions to social justice, to global health, to policies that made people’s lives safer, longer, happier and healthier are multitudinous. A public health and human rights lawyer, Maeve’s deep commitment to immigrants, refugees, women and children, including issues of violence, and rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, was rarely matched. She inspired so many of us and served as a role model in myriad ways. Many words have been said about her contributions by many who knew her longer or better than I did. But perhaps because I knew her less well, and yet felt that she was there deeply, personally, profoundly for me when she could sense I needed it, several times, I can uniquely appreciate some of Maeve’s finest qualities. She had an almost extrasensory perception of what was needed, especially in delicate moments. She shared her strength, her courage, and in doing so, made difficult things seem possible, doable."
OGAC - In Memory of Maeve
"Maeve had a very unique ability to make everyone that entered her orbit feel the power of her friendship...
Maeve knew how to liberate her energy and was never afraid to make a point. She also had the delightful ability to help others, who might not feel outstandingly robust, realize their potential. I wouldn’t be where I am today without Maeve...
She was spontaneous yet thoughtful, idealistic but practical, clear-eyed yet empathetic, down-to-earth but also magical – and so many other things. She managed to send a spark of joy, kindness, and brilliance through any conversation, email, or even a wave....
I valued our friendship, so many times when I’d be on travel from Geneva to DC, Maeve and Dave would open up their home to me for a dinner, good company and conversation and fun with their kids. This meant the world to me at the time being apart from my own family and always will....
Both confident and humble, Maeve fully and deeply embraced life and brought tremendous light into the world."
Georgetown University Global Health Initiative
Maeve was a passionate and energetic advocate for human rights and social justice, especially for women and girls and communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. As executive director of our Global Health Initiative, she skillfully brought together faculty and students across disciplines and schools in order to advance our shared mission for improving health and advancing justice.
Maeve also brought her characteristic enthusiasm to engaging, inspiring and mentoring a new generation of Georgetown global health students through her teaching in the classroom and her leadership of an innovative fellowship program for aspiring leaders.
Maeve joined City University of New York and went on to Georgetown University as the Executive Director of the Global Health Initiative. There she also served as a Professor, with John Monahan leading a series of Conversations in Global Health with global leaders. As COVID ravaged the world and the U.S. government’s response was riddled with ineptitude, Maeve expressed incredible frustration that her former team and colleagues in government were muzzled by terrible leadership. She wanted so much to be able to make great strides in the fight for global health, no more starkly needed than during a global pandemic. We imagine the work she would have been able to achieve, and how she might have served the next Administration, diagnosing and changing systems that require a keen eye and grit and determination needed to stick with a complicated and messy problem. We would all have been better had we had her with us during the fight to combat the pandemic.
The fellowships that have been started in Maeve’s name are a humbling recognition of the determination and effectiveness of this incredible person. The work of the fellows will continue forward in fields that she cared deeply about. For anyone who knew, or truly who even met Maeve once, we know that to the fellows she would have been your loudest cheerleader and your greatest supporter. She would have done everything she could to help you in your success. Whenever the work might seem too difficult, or the systems in place too stubborn to change, we hope you will feel uplifted knowing that among the people who support you is an incredible woman and champion for equity, equality, fairness, and love.