GAVI CEO Awarded Honorary Doctorate by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

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Seth Berkley highlights GAVI link with former President

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NMMU honorary doctorates (from left) Dr Seth Berkley, Dr Sylvia Earle and John Kani
Photo credit: Leonette Bower

Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 17 April 2013 – GAVI CEO Dr Seth Berkley was today awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for services to global public health and advancing the right to healthcare for all.

Accepting the doctorate, Dr Berkley said, “I am particularly proud to be connected to a university named for President Nelson Mandela—one of my, and much of the world’s, personal heroes.”

“As Chief Executive of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, I want to acknowledge our debt to the vision and leadership of President Nelson Mandela,” Dr Berkley said. “President Mandela was the first chair of the GAVI Vaccine Fund board and a highly formative influence in the early years of GAVI.”

“President Mandela personally persuaded influential people in government and in business to join our start-up Board and to support GAVI in its early and audacious years. Graça Machel also played her role continuing as Chair after Madiba.”

The citation for Dr Berkley’s honorary doctorate reads: “In recognition of his globally-recognised contribution to advancing the frontiers of scholarly knowledge through scientific research and social engagement, specifically in the field of public health, and advancing the achievement of the right to adequate healthcare for all, it is an honour for Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to confer the degree Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) on Seth Franklin Berkley.”

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