DR SETH BERKLEY, CEO
GAVI, THE VACCINE ALLIANCE
A medical doctor and epidemiologist, Dr Seth Berkley joined
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, as its CEO in August 2011,
spearheading its mission to protect the world’s poorest
children by improving access to new and underused vaccines.
Gavi has now reached more than 760 million children in the
73 poorest countries, in its 20 years of existence. In 2015,
Dr. Berkley led Gavi to its second successful replenishment,
raising US$ 7.5 billion in donor commitments to support the
immunisation of 300 million children by 2020 and defined a
new strategy emphasising vaccine coverage and equity for
2016–2020. In 2019, under Dr Berkley’s leadership, Gavi
received the prestigious Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service
Award for providing sustained access to childhood vaccines in
the world’s poorest countries, saving millions of lives and highlighting the power of
immunisation to prevent diseases.
Prior to Gavi, in 1996, Dr Berkley founded the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), the
first vaccine product development public-private sector partnership, where he served as
President and CEO for 15 years. Under his leadership, IAVI created a virtual vaccine product
development effort involving scientists from low-income countries, industry and academia –
developing and testing vaccines around the world. He also oversaw a global advocacy
programme that ensured the issue of HIV vaccine development received prominent attention
in the media and in forums such as the G8, the European Union and the United Nations.
Previously, Dr Berkley served as an officer of the Health Sciences Division at The Rockefeller
Foundation. He has worked for the Center for Infectious Diseases of the US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and
the Carter Center, where he was assigned as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health in
Uganda. Dr Berkley played a key role in Uganda’s national HIV sero-survey and helped
develop its national AIDS Control Program.
He has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine; recognised by TIME magazine
as one of “The TIME 100 – The World’s Most Influential People”; and named by WIRED
magazine as among “The WIRED 25 – a salute to dreamers, inventors, mavericks, leaders.”
His TED talks have been viewed by more than 1.5 million people. He has consulted or worked
in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Dr Berkley sits on a number of
international steering committees and corporate and not-for-profit boards, including those of
Gilead Sciences and the New York Academy of Sciences, and is a Professor at
the University of Geneva’s Institute of Global Health in the Faculty of Medicine.
Dr Berkley received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Brown University and
trained in internal medicine at Harvard University. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary
Doctorate by Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for services to global
public health and advancing the right to health care for all.