316 12 IIA Feature S2Ep3 Final

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Brett Giroir has an important message about life and opportunity: “I do believe you’re put here for a purpose,” he says. “And looking back on all the chance events that came into my life, I think that’s what it all meant.”

When Dr. Giroir applied to Harvard—the first in his family to go to college, let alone an Ivy League school—he was told that if he got in, he should go. He got in, so that’s what he did. Call that the first “chance” event.

When he wanted to learn scientific research as an undergraduate at Harvard, he was turned away, so he snuck in on the freight elevator and somehow convinced the professor to let him work in the immunology lab. Call that the second “chance” event.

And when facing a historic outbreak of meningococcal disease as an early-career doctor in the ICU, this set the table for Dr. Giroir’s future role as COVID-19 “testing czar” on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Call that the third.

In fact, everything seems to have set the table for the role of testing czar, as Dr. Giroir made his way in life from his hometown of Marrero, just outside of New Orleans, to Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

But these aren’t the only chance events that shaped Dr. Giroir and his career trajectory. It’s clear that he has created his own opportunities, and when those opportunities came, he was ready.

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