Seth Berkley Named as New GAVI Chief
NEW YORK, March 8, 2011 - The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) congratulates its founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Seth Berkley on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). The Board of GAVI, an organization that increases access to immunization in poor countries, announced the appointment today. "This is a terrific opportunity for Seth and a logical next step, and we wish him well," said IAVI Board Chairman Paul Klingenstein.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) congratulates its founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Seth Berkley on his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). The Board of GAVI, an organization that increases access to immunization in poor countries, announced the appointment today. "This is a terrific opportunity for Seth and a logical next step, and we wish him well," said IAVI Board Chairman Paul Klingenstein.
Berkley founded IAVI in 1996. Since then, the organization has mobilized US$ 897 million in resources for AIDS vaccine R&D, advocated to keep the development of an AIDS vaccine on the international agenda, established and maintained a network connecting clinical research centers in Africa and India, tested nine AIDS vaccine candidates in clinical trials in 11 countries and made significant contributions toward solving the problem of how to design vaccines that elicit antibodies that neutralize a broad range of variants of HIV. "It was Seth's vision and energy that enabled IAVI to prosper and develop into the mature organization that it is, and he will leave it in excellent condition," said Klingenstein. "It's no longer a question of whether there will be an AIDS vaccine but when, and IAVI is in an excellent position to help advance the science to the goal of an effective vaccine accessible to all."
"I'm excited about the new opportunity at GAVI, but of course extremely saddened to be leaving an organization so close to my heart. It's bittersweet to leave IAVI when AIDS vaccine science is showing more promise than ever. I look forward to the time when HIV will be added to GAVI's list of available vaccines," said Berkley. "It's been a tremendous honor to have worked alongside all the outstanding individuals who have taken up the mission of an AIDS vaccine. I especially want to thank IAVI's generous donors, the trial volunteers and our scientific collaborators."
"Seth has been an indefatigable and enormously effective champion for AIDS vaccine development," said David Cook, Chief Operating Officer at IAVI. "We expect he will continue to be a strong advocate from his new position at GAVI."
Berkley is expected to remain in his position as President and CEO of IAVI through June. The IAVI Board of Directors will define a transition plan. "Given the momentum in AIDS vaccine development and IAVI's contributions to the current excitement, a transition presents the opportunity to invigorate the organization with another outstanding leader," said Klingenstein. "The Board looks forward to rising to that challenge."
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996 and operational in 25 countries, IAVI and its network of collaborators research and develop vaccine candidates. IAVI's financial and in-kind supporters include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the James B. Pendleton Charitable Trust, The John D. Evans Foundation, The Starr Foundation; the Governments of Canada, Denmark, India, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the Basque Autonomous Government (Spain), the European Union as well as the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and The City of New York, Economic Development Corporation; multilateral organizations such as The World Bank and The OPEC Fund for International Development; corporate donors including BD (Becton, Dickinson & Co.), Bristol-Myers Squibb, Continental Airlines, The Gilead Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, Google Inc., Pfizer Inc, and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.; leading AIDS charities such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; and many generous individuals from around the world. For more information, see www.iavi.org.