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International Health

Global Health Leadership Award Presented to Bill & Melinda Gates

To mark its 50th Anniversary the Department created the Global Health Award for exceptional leadership in the field of global public health. The inaugural award was presented to Bill & Melinda Gates for their visionary leadership. As Chair Bob Black explains:

Bill and Melinda Gates have set in motion revolutionary breakthroughs in scientific research that have saved the lives of countless people around the world.

Global Health Leadership AwardNearly 400 faculty, students, staff, and friends of the Department turned out to see Ms. Gates accept the award on the couple’s behalf. Also during the ceremony, the Department debuted its new video to celebrate its achievements over the past 50 years and to affirm its goals for the future. Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News, who was a medical resident at Hopkins under Professor Mathu Santosham, narrated the video. Later in the evening, Dean Klag presented Besser with the Dean’s Medal, in part for his leadership as acting director of the CDC during the H1N1 pandemic. 

Another highlight of the evening was Professor Santosham’s launch of the new International Center for Maternal & Newborn Health. The Center will build off the successes of the Neonatal Center, whose founder Dr. Gary Darmstadt—former IH faculty and current Director of Family Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—was in attendance. 

President Daniels opened up the celebration with a look back on the growth of global health across the University, calling the Department the University’s “touchstone, the standard bearer, the exemplar of commitment to this field.”  He concluded his remarks with a tribute to the Department and its collaborators: 

Research from this department has helped improve vaccines, control infectious diseases, prevent malnutrition, reduce traffic accidents, and, most importantly, saved millions of lives... Today we celebrate this belief in the possibilities of ideas and innovations, not only by marking this milestone anniversary but by honoring fellow innovators.

To view the complete ceremony, including Melinda Gates’s acceptance speech and the IH video debuted on September 24, 2011, visit the Department’s video page.

--Brandon Howard, December 2011