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The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization announces New Executive Secretary

Geneva, 25 October 2004 -- Today, Dr LEE Jong-wook, chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) board announced the nomination of Dr Julian Lob-Levyt as the new GAVI Executive Secretary.

"I would like to congratulate Dr Lob-Levyt on his nomination, and wish him every success in this new challenge," said Dr Lee, who is also Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). "GAVI has benefited from exceptional leadership to date under Dr Tore Godal, and we are confident Dr Lob-Levyt will staunchly continue to fulfill its mission."

Dr Lob-Levyt is from the United Kingdom, and has extensive international experience in the field of health, having worked in the Pacific, in Africa and in Asia. He has been with the UK Department for International Development (DfID) since 1998. Earlier this year he was seconded by DFID as Senior Policy Adviser to the Executive Director of UNAIDS in Geneva, where he is currently working.

Dr Lob-Levyt has been closely involved in development of health policy within the international development community and is strongly committed to addressing public health issues, particularly those relating to GAVI. He has developed a wide-ranging network within the multilateral and bilateral community and with developing countries, and has demonstrated strong leadership and management capabilities, playing a key role in developing and establishing the High Level Forum on Health with WHO, the World Bank, donors, and developing countries.

The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization was formed in 2000 to harness the strengths and experience of all major stakeholders in global immunization. GAVI represents an historic alliance between the private and public sector committed to the mission of saving children's lives and protecting people's health through the widespread use of vaccines.

Since 2000, GAVI and its financing arm, The Vaccine Fund, have disbursed US$ 429 million to over 70 of the world's poorest countries, reaching more than 9 million more children with basic vaccines and nearly 45 million more children with new vaccines. By encouraging countries to design their own grant applications and attaching financing to measurable results, the GAVI/The Vaccine Fund process promotes national ownership of programmes and strengthens local expertise. As a result, many countries have shown dramatic advances in expanding immunization coverage and improving their health systems outreach.

The GAVI Secretariat and The Vaccine Fund are currently involved in a process of converging their respective operations.

About GAVI and The Vaccine Fund: The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a public-private partnership focused on increasing access to vaccines among children in poor countries. Partners include national governments, UNICEF, WHO, The World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the vaccine industry, public health institutions and NGOs. The Vaccine Fund is the financing resource created to support the GAVI immunization goals, providing financial support directly to low-income countries to strengthen their health delivery and immunization services and to purchase new and under-used vaccines.

*High resolution photo of Dr Lob-Levyt is available on request from

1. Including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, BCG, measles and polio
2. Including hepatitis B, Hib and yellow fever

En Français

Photo credit: Lisa Jacobs
Dr Julian Lob-Levyt, new GAVI Executive Secretary

For information, contact:

Coimbra Sirica
Tel: +1 631 757 4027

Anne Winter
Tel: +41 22 909 5449

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