A medical doctor and epidemiologist, Dr Seth Berkley joined Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance as its CEO in August 2011, spearheading its mission to protect the world’s poorest children by improving access to new and underused vaccines.
Under his leadership Gavi has now reached half a billion children in its 15 years of existence. In 2015 he led Gavi to its second successful replenishment, raising US$ 7.5 billion in donor commitments to support the immunisation of 300 million children by 2020.
Prior to Gavi, Dr Berkley founded the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) in 1996, the first vaccine product development public-private sector partnership, where he served as president and CEO for 15 years. Under his leadership, IAVI created a virtual vaccine product development effort involving industry, academia and developing country scientists – developing and testing vaccines around the world. He also oversaw a global advocacy programme that assured HIV vaccines received prominent attention in the media and in forums such as the G-8, European Union and the United Nations.
Previously Dr Berkley served as an officer of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller Foundation. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and for the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in Uganda. Dr Berkley played a key role in Uganda’s national HIV sero-survey and helped develop its National AIDS Control programs.
He has been featured on the cover of Newsweek, recognised by TIME magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” and by Wired Magazine as among “The Wired 25 — a salute to dreamers, inventors, mavericks and leaders.” He has consulted or worked in more than 50 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Dr Berkley sits on a number of international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards, including those of Gilead Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences and the Acumen Fund.
Seth received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and trained in internal medicine at Harvard University. In 2013, Dr Berkley was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for services to global public health and advancing the right to healthcare for all.
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