Statement on Gayle Smith appointment to US State Department

WASHINGTON — Today, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken named Gayle E. Smith as Coordinator for Global COVID Response & Health Security at the US State Department. While Gayle Smith, currently President and CEO of The ONE Campaign, is on temporary assignment to the State Department, Tom Hart, currently Executive Director, North America at ONE will serve as acting CEO during this period.

Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE and (RED), said:

“Extraordinary times demand extraordinary leaders and Gayle-Force Smith is just that. I can’t think of a better person to drive the US effort to chase this virus off the face of the planet.

“There will be excitement about her appointment in capitals around the world and likely some anxiety too because Gayle Smith doesn’t do business as usual. She has no tolerance for injustice, she will hustle and hassle the powers that be, wherever they be. She will fight this virus as she did HIV and Ebola, like her own life depends on it.

“Tom Hart will drive Gayle’s agenda while she’s gone. He has been the most consistent force behind ONE since its inception, and we’re grateful for his leadership.”

Tom Hart, acting CEO of ONE, added:

“The ONE team is thrilled for Gayle and all the incredible work she will continue to do to end this pandemic for everyone, everywhere. I am honored to take on this role and continue our bipartisan engagement to end the pandemic and fight extreme poverty and preventable disease. While our challenges have never been greater, our activists around the world and our ONE team are more dedicated than ever to achieve real progress.”

Background

Tom Hart’s biography can be found here and you can follow him on Twitter @Tom_at_ONE. The

State Department announcement and transcript will be posted here.

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