Marlboro College

News Global Health Council President Delivers Commencement Address

Dr. Nils Daulaire and Dr. Richard Lewontin Receive Honorary Degrees

Marlboro, VT (May 3, 2007)-Global Health Council President and CEO Dr. Nils Daulaire will deliver the commencement address at Marlboro College’s graduation on May 20, 2007. Dr. Daulaire will be awarded an honorary doctorate, as will Harvard geneticist Dr. Richard Lewontin.

“I am very excited. This is an opportunity to speak about the enormous and redeemable inequities in regards to health around the world and advise graduating seniors on what they can do about it,” says Daulaire.

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Daulaire works with health professionals and service organizations around the world and is dedicated to advancing policies and programs affecting health care. He testifies before Congress frequently and his most recent effort is drawing attention to malaria.

“Malaria is, in some countries, the biggest killer of children,” explains Daulaire. “Overall, malaria takes a million lives a year, mostly children. It results in 500 million episodes of illness in adults and impacts their ability to feed their families.”

Daulaire previously served as the deputy assistant administrator for policy and senior international health policy advisor at the US Agency for International Development, often acting as an advisor to President and Hillary Clinton on world health issues. He was primarily responsible for coordinating policies that encompassed social sector programs. He was also the primary negotiator on health issues at international conferences and a delegate to World Heath Assemblies.

“We have gone through a remarkable half century of global change,” says Daulaire. “On one hand life expectancies have improved in a historical way but there is a ‘has not’ part of the world in Africa, Asia and Latin America where lifespans have declined. In a world that is deeply interconnected, it is unjust and unsafe to allow that growing disparity to continue.”

Daulaire has traveled extensively, doing field work in such areas as Haiti, Tanzania, Nepal, Yugoslavia and Morocco. He speaks nine languages including Norwegian, German and Bengali and contributed to more than 20 publications.

“My message is to be aware and be involved in the world beyond our borders,” advises Daulaire. “To recognize that the opportunities for making positive change are there, whether it is supporting politicians or going and actually serving and helping firsthand to deal with these problems. Every person has a role because US policies and investments will impact what happens elsewhere in the world.”

The Global Health Council was founded in 1972 and has offices in Washington, D.C. and White River Junction, VT.

Considered one of the great living biologists, Richard Lewontin has been a leader in developing the mathematical basis of population genetics and evolutionary theory. He received his doctorate in zoology from Columbia University and is a professor emeritus at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1973. Lewontin recently published The Triple Helix, which delves into the misconceptions that impede the understanding of biology and evolution.

Lewontin was honored as a Fulbright Fellow in 1961, as well as a National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in 1961 and 1971. He’s also received the Sewall Wright Award from the American Society of Naturalists.

A Marlboro resident, Lewontin has served as an outside examiner and lecturer at Marlboro College. He has also been a trustee of the Marlboro Music Festival.

Approximately 70 seniors, including 6 from Vermont, will graduate from Marlboro College on Sunday May 20, 2007. The ceremony begins at 10:30 AM in Person’s Auditorium. Sonya Lowe, a Massachusetts native, will be the senior speaker.

For more information contact public affairs officer Kathy Reynolds at (802) 251-7644 or reynolds@marlboro.edu.

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