SEATTLE, October 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that Dr. Christopher Elias has been named president of the foundation's Global Development Program. Elias is currently president and chief executive officer of PATH, a Seattle-based international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of people around the world.
"We are very pleased that Chris is joining the foundation to lead our global development work," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation. "His leadership at PATH and long history in health and development will enhance our ability to deliver innovative solutions to some of the world's biggest challenges."
In his new position, Elias will help lead the foundation's efforts to support people in developing countries to overcome hunger, poverty, and disease. He will focus on the innovative and integrated delivery of interventions, while overseeing an expanded portfolio, which will include the foundation's Family Health and Vaccine Delivery strategies along with Global Development's existing work in Agricultural Development, Financial Services for the Poor, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, and Special Initiatives. The foundation's U.S. and Global Libraries Programs will also be combined in the broader portfolio. Recently, the foundation named Dr. Trevor Mundel from Novartis Pharma AG as the new president of its Global Health Program.
"We welcome Chris to the foundation," said Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the foundation. "As the foundation matures, and our ambitions continue to grow, the complementary experience and leadership he and Trevor bring will ensure that we take an integrated global approach to our work."
"Chris brings great experience in managing complex programs on the ground, around the world," said Jeff Raikes, CEO of the foundation. "He will help us expand the depth of our expertise from research and development through to delivery of the tools needed to give the poorest people the chance to live healthy and productive lives. I'm excited to work with Chris to strengthen our partnerships and maximize our impact."
"I am deeply honored to be joining the Gates Foundation," said Elias. "I look forward to applying my experience in health and development to help advance the foundation's ambitious mission."
Dr. Elias has led PATH since 2000, guiding it through unprecedented growth and expanding PATH's international presence, with projects currently underway in more than 70 countries. Under his leadership PATH has developed and delivered numerous innovative health solutions that have improved the lives of millions of beneficiaries around the world.
Prior to his tenure at PATH, Dr. Elias held senior positions with the Population Council, including a stint as country representative in Thailand. He received his MD from Creighton University in 1983, and received an MPH in 1990 from the University of Washington, where he was also a fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
SOURCE Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation