Entertainment industry leader becomes the GAVI Alliance's first Envoy

Bill Roedy

Bill Roedy at a health clinic in Kigali, Rwanda (December 2010). Source: GAVI/2010/Riccardo Gangale.

Geneva, 25 May 2011 - The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) is proud to announce that Bill Roedy, the architect behind the internationally known MTV Networks, has joined the GAVI family to advocate for immunisation.

As the Alliance's first GAVI Envoy, Mr. Roedy will raise awareness about the importance of vaccines in fighting major childhood killers like pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.

"Bill has such a strong record as an advocate and as someone who can bring people together from different walks of life to support great causes" said Helen Evans, GAVI interim CEO.  "GAVI and the children we serve will greatly benefit from his determination to give everyone wherever they live the same chance for a healthy life."

A former platoon leader in Vietnam who then moved on to head the global expansion of MTV International Networks over a 22 year period, Mr Roedy has had a remarkable ability to grow a business while helping address major social issues, such as HIV/AIDS. While MTV CEO, he launched the Staying Alive foundation and was actively involved with the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and the Global Media AIDS Initiative.

"It's not every day that you get the chance to save someone's life and this is exactly what GAVI is all about. I am thrilled to be part of this collective effort of protecting millions of children from vaccine-preventable diseases," said Bill Roedy. "GAVI is a true leader in the field, it is sharp, dynamic and result-focused - all the good ingredients for continued success.

The announcement of his GAVI Envoyship coincides with the launch this week of his first book - What Makes Business Rock - about how he made social advocacy a common business practice.

"Bill Roedy's unconventional career has led to some remarkable achievements. We are grateful that he has chosen GAVI to pursue his outstanding advocacy work and lend his voice on behalf of the millions of children who suffer because they do not have access to life-saving vaccines", said Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and past head of GAVI's Board.

Mary Robinson had invited Roedy to join the GAVI family before stepping down as GAVI Board Chair, in Kigali, Rwanda, last December.

GAVI Envoys are individuals who are recognised leaders in their respective fields. Mr. Roedy will undertake advocacy activities internationally with the objective of expanding private sector support for GAVI. Other leading individuals are currently under consideration.

Subscribe to our newsletter