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Senior PR Executive Ellena Friedman Joins IAVI as Vice President of Communications

September 09, 2004

NEW YORK, September 9, 2004 – Ms. Ellena Friedman has been appointed Vice President of Communications at the not-for-profit International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).  Friedman, who officially joined the organization in early September, will lead IAVI’s communications efforts worldwide.

“We are very pleased to have Ellena join the IAVI team.  Her wealth of experience and passion for HIV/AIDS issues is critical to advancing the organization's mission and enhancing global awareness of the urgent need for a preventive AIDS vaccine,” said IAVI President and CEO Seth Berkley, MD.

Friedman comes to IAVI with more than 16 years in the fields of strategic and crisis communications as well as public policy and advocacy.  She has significant experience representing pharmaceutical and biotech industries; most recently at Centocor, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, where she served as Director of Strategic Alliances. She also served as Director of Communications at Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation, where she led the development of the company’s communications programs for its pharmaceutical products.

Friedman has held senior positions at leading international public relations agencies, including Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, where she served as Senior VP and Group Head, and Hill & Knowlton as Vice President representing a range of global health clients.  While at Hill & Knowlton, she helped to establish one of the first specialty groups dedicated to HIV/AIDS and helped to create some of the first programs on HIV/AIDS pain management and nutrition.  She also spent several years working on issues addressing the pricing and efficacy of drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, and built alliances between industry and community groups.

About IAVI: IAVI ( is a global not-for-profit organization working to accelerate the development of a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS. Founded in 1996 and operational in 23 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI also works to assure that a vaccine will be accessible to everyone who needs it. IAVI’s major financial supporters include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Rockefeller, Sloan and Starr foundations; the World Bank; BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.); the European Union; and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.