In Memoriam: Remembering Aryc Mosher

25 Jul 2023
Aryc W. Mosher 1967-2023

On 1 July 2023, the trachoma community was deeply saddened by the sudden and  unexpected passing of Aryc Mosher at his home in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Aryc was a passionate and tireless advocate in the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Throughout his career, he demonstrated a remarkable range of expertise, providing technical support to national programs, fostering community engagement, and facilitating donor collaboration and investment for various programs and operational research. Aryc was firmly committed to meeting the needs of marginalized communities, which he achieved by fostering open and transparent collaborations at national, regional and global levels to support communities affected by NTDs. His technical expertise, charismatic charm, warmth and diplomacy made him a world-respected colleague and friend to many across the global NTD and broader development communities.

Aryc started his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa. He served as The Carter Center Country Director for Ghana, after which he progressed to  Assistant Director, in Atlanta, Georgia, before joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. During his career, he also shared his expertise as a consultant at Sightsavers in the United Kingdom and the International Trachoma Initiative in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2016, Aryc was the Senior Technical Advisor on NTDs with the United States Agency for International Development, where he made significant contributions to global health and development programs. Outside of his career, Aryc had a deep love for his family and devoted himself to serving his local community. He generously dedicated his time and expertise to numerous community initiatives near his home, leaving a lasting impact on those he interacted with. Notably, he held the position of Vice Chair on the Atlanta Pride Board, an organization that held immense personal significance to him.

Aryc Mosher and Shelia West, New York City

Aryc was a consistent and vocal champion of the work of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control. He regularly challenged ‘business as usual’ approaches and always offered insightful critiques that encouraged ICTC members and observers to work together in partnership to advance our shared goals. He was well known for his enthusiastic and thought-provoking presentations that motivated members of the trachoma community to strengthen its support to health ministries through sustainable programs that strengthen health systems and leave no one behind. His kindness and gracious nature will always be remembered.

The International Coalition for Trachoma Control extends its sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Aryc. In particular, we share our deepest sympathies with his beloved spouse, Kenneth Ray Morris. 

In honor of Aryc's remarkable life and commitment to the Atlanta Pride organization, we kindly invite you to consider making a donation as a way to celebrate his memory. To contribute, please visit the Atlanta Pride Donation page at:

Aryc Mosher with his friends PJ Hooper, Lisa Rotondo, Chad MacArthur and Simon Brooker.

Condolence messages may be shared on the community led memory board, which will close on 15 August and printed for Aryc’s family:

You can view Aryc’s official obituary here as well as a link to a recorded video of this memorial service:

Below we would like to share some of the beautiful messages shared by individuals at ICTC member organizations  who have worked closely with Aryc over the years:

“Aryc was such a special man. One of the kindest, big-hearted people you were ever likely to meet. I’m proud to have lured him from Guinea worm to the trachoma community where he worked with us all - and touched the lives of millions”

- Paul Emerson, Director, International Trachoma Initiative

“Aryc always wanted to make sure everyone felt included and that they had a place, and I truly think that he is one of the reasons so many of us in trachoma have stayed—Aryc helped us find our place.”

- Stephanie Palmer, Trachoma Technical Advisor, Act to END NTDs| West, FHI360

ICTC members and observers meeting, Maputo, 2019“Many of us at RTI have worked with Aryc for more than a decade, if not decades.  Over the years, he was the person you turned to when you needed an advocate or new ways to look at old problems.  We have looked to Aryc in countless meetings and country trips to speak with what I can only describe as polite ferocity concerning all things trachoma elimination.  His deep compassion was apparent in his poignant photography of those he worked to help, works of art that have helped frame the plight of trachoma to countless others.  The words ‘family’ and ‘colleagues’ were synonymous for Aryc- in any given meeting he could recount anecdotes about people’s kids, would follow up on the well-being of sick relatives, would poke fun at himself to make those around him laugh.  Our small community seems so much smaller without Aryc.  He is greatly missed.”  

- Scott McPherson, Senior Program Manager, RTI International/ ICTC Executive Group member (2017-2023)

“Aryc will forever be remembered for championing approaches to tackle trachoma elimination end-game challenges.  He coined some important buzz-words that have become lingua franca for example: floating TF (aka persistent TF) ; bouncing TF (aka recrudescent TF), and gear-shifting (aka modified MDA) and of course the unforgettable “leaning tower of assumptions”. We will surely miss Arycs’ brilliance, enthusiasm, determination, humor, laughter and most importantly bringing out the best in us all. Fare-thee-well, my good friend.”

- Jeremiah Ngondi, Senior NTD Advisor, Act to End |East, RTI International

“Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the founder of The Carter Center said, “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I will do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.” Aryc embodied that quote and importantly that sentiment in his years at The Carter Center and beyond. Aryc strived to make a difference in so many individual lives and in so many millions of lives – whether it was a shared laugh or a lovely compliment or implementation ideation to improve program performance – he strived in every way, to make the world a better place – to make a difference. Aryc made a difference in so many lives and he will be deeply, deeply missed.”

- Kelly Callahan, Director, Trachoma Control Program,  The Carter Center

“Aryc was always a joy to work with. He was professional, experienced and fun. It was always a pleasure for me to see Aryc’s name on a list of people due to attend meetings. He lit up the room. Our small NTD community has lost a dear friend. There will be people all over the world who were linked to Aryc who will be grieving for a life lost too early.My deepest condolences and sympathy to Aryc’s family, friends and colleagues.” 

- Simon Bush, Director, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Sightsavers

“Aryc’s always humorous and thoughtful times with me often led to seeing issues and solutions in a new light. I am profoundly grateful to have called him friend.”

- Sheila West, El Maghraby Professor, Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine

“As a thought leader in our community, Aryc always asked the hard questions and did not hesitate to speak truth to power. He was also always first to celebrate our collective wins and inspire us to stay the course. I know that we will continue to be guided by memories of his energy, passion, and commitment. Aryc was larger than life and will always be so.” 

- Girija Sankar, Head of NTDs, CBM International/ Chair (2022 - 2023) NTD NGO Network

Aryc was the eternal optimist, always believing in the possibility of real change in the world and seeing the best in everyone. During his time with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's NTD team, he made significant contributions to the Guinea worm eradication program, made sure that our work remained grounded in the practical realities of program implementation, and represented the voices of the communities affected by Guinea worm and other NTDs.

His infectious smile brought immense joy, and his acts of kindness, often unnoticed, strengthened connections across the team. At times, he would have us all laughing heartily with his sharp wit. Although the NTD community has lost an important colleague and friend, we know that Aryc's passion, contributions, and compassionate approach will continue to reverberate at the foundation and in the wider global health community.

- Friends at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation