We had some great news at ONE today, announcing that we have added three new fantastic board members who are leaders in their respective fields and have also played an important role in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease: former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
As National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice played a key role in the creation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, the bipartisan initiative that is the largest international public health intervention by any nation against a single disease. More than four million people in the world’s poorest countries now have access to lifesaving AIDS medication because of PEPFAR. Secretary Rice also helped to create the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a particularly innovative development program.
Quite apart from their many other distinguished accomplishments, as senior Treasury department officials under President Clinton, then-Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Chief of Staff to the Treasury Secretary Sheryl Sandberg both played critical roles in President Clinton’s decision to take the lead on debt relief. In 1999, the US and other developed nations decided to cancel the debts of highly-indebted poor nations so long as those nations spent the money instead on education and health improvements. As a result – to take just one metric – more than 46 million more children are now going to school around the world.
I couldn’t be prouder or happier to welcome all three on to ONE’s board (in Sheryl Sandberg’s case, indeed, it’s a welcome return) and to join ONE’s staff and members in our important work.