ATLANTA (December 15, 2022) – The Task Force for Global Health Board of Directors has elected Kent Alexander as board chair. Alexander has served on the board since 2018 and most recently has been serving as board vice-chair. He succeeds Teri McClure, former General Counsel and Chief Human Resources Officer for UPS, who has served as board chair since 2017 and who will continue to serve as a member of the board.
An accomplished author, attorney and civic leader, Alexander has served as General Counsel of CARE, presidentially-appointed United States Attorney, partner at King & Spalding law firm, and SVP and General Counsel for Emory University. He also co-authored the book The Suspect, a based-on source for Clint Eastwood’s movie Richard Jewell.
“Kent Alexander has been a highly engaged and enthusiastic Task Force champion during his time on the board and he brings a great deal of experience and connections to this role. We look forward to his leadership,” said Task Force for Global Health President and CEO Patrick O’Carroll. “With this transition, I also want to thank Teri McClure for her savvy, thoughtful guidance as chair and her many contributions over the years. Under her leadership, the board has helped The Task Force grow significantly and increase our impact.”
The Task Force’s growth and increasing impact builds on the work and legacy of Task Force co-founder Dr. Bill Foege, a global health legend who helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox, among many other achievements. The Task Force’s revenue increased from 2016 to 2022, with FY22 audited revenue of $103 million (excluding $632 million of in-kind donations), the number of employees grew to 200, and the number of programs grew from 10 to 17. The Task Force works with partners in more than 150 countries.
“It is an honor to represent the organization started by the legendary Dr. Bill Foege and to build on Teri McClure’s leadership to champion and support the incredibly effective work of The Task Force today,” said Board Chair Kent Alexander. “On a recent trip to Kenya with Teri and Task Force staff, I saw first-hand the innovative, collaborative work to eliminate blinding trachoma and prevent and treat infection by intestinal worms. Since our founding, The Task Force has always prized results over recognition, channeling our expertise and close partnerships to save and improve people’s lives around the world.”
Information about the full Task Force board is available here.
As Alexander steps into the role of board chair, The Task Force is approaching its 40th anniversary. Task Force co-founder and former CDC Director Dr. Foege is considered such a giant in public health that Bill Gates looked to him for global health guidance when creating the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. After the eradication of smallpox in 1980, Dr. Foege took on his next big challenge: ensuring that children everywhere could be vaccinated against preventable diseases, like polio, measles and diphtheria. In 1984, when The Task Force was founded, only 20% of all children were able to get vaccinated – primarily those living in high-income countries like the U.S. and in Western Europe — leaving hundreds of millions of children in poor countries at risk of the exact same diseases although the world had the tools and the know-how to protect them.
To solve this problem, Dr. Foege and others, at the request of the Rockefeller Foundation, brought together the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program to ensure that all children – no matter where they lived – could be protected. Dr. Foege and his co-founders established The Task Force (then called The Task Force for Child Survival) to coordinate this effort. Within just six years, by 1990, global childhood immunization rates had soared to 80 percent. Throughout The Task Force’s decades of work since, that same sense of purpose, belief that all people have the right to health, laser focus on results, and partnership model are central to The Task Force’s approach.
About The Task Force for Global Health
The Task Force for Global Health, founded nearly 40 years ago to advance health equity, works with partners in more than 150 countries to eliminate diseases, ensure access to vaccines and essential medicines, and strengthen health systems to protect populations. Expertise includes neglected tropical diseases and other infectious diseases; vaccine safety, distribution and access; and health systems strengthening, including supply chains for essential medicines, public health informatics for data to inform programs and policies, and training and support for epidemiologists and laboratorians to prevent and respond to outbreaks. COVID-19 activities have included helping more than 35 low- and middle-income countries roll out vaccines; informing vaccine safety guidelines; training epidemiologists in more than 100 countries on disease surveillance and response; distributing essential protection and treatment to hard-hit communities; advising on digital contact tracing; using existing health programs to ensure protection for vulnerable groups, such as those afflicted with other diseases; and leveraging our existing supply chains for ongoing response. For more information, visit www.taskforce.org and our annual report.
Photo credit in header: PJ Hooper for The Task Force for Global Health