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ONE Campaign Announces CEO Gayle Smith to Step Down in January 2024

WASHINGTON DC – The ONE Campaign, a non-partisan global organization campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, today announced that Gayle Smith, the organization’s chief executive officer, will step down from her role in January of 2024.

Smith has served as CEO of ONE since February 2017, leaving only for a brief period to serve as the Biden administration’s global COVID-19 response coordinator in 2021. Smith will continue her day-to-day leadership of the organization until the new year as part of the internal transition process being coordinated with ONE’s board of directors.

The ONE Campaign board of directors and organizational leadership have commenced a search for a new CEO, with an announcement of a new organizational head expected in early 2024. John Spears, Chief Operating Officer, will serve as Interim President of ONE during the transition.

Smith proudly highlighted the effectiveness of both ONE’s advocacy mission and its team members during her time leading the organization.

“I’ll leave with the same conviction I carried with me when I joined this organization, that ONE is the single most effective advocacy organization I’ve ever known. I couldn’t be prouder of or more grateful for the ONE and (RED) teams – they’re simply the best in the business. I will forever abide by ONE’s simple premise: that if we can get people to agree on one thing, we can change the world.”

ONE’s Board Chair, Tom Freston, thanked Smith for her service to ONE and her contribution to the organization’s mission.

“ONE has accomplished many great things under Gayle’s leadership, and our organization remains well-positioned to be an effective advocate for empowering citizens around the world to fight poverty and disease thanks to Gayle’s efforts. ONE’s leadership, advocates and activists are grateful for Gayle’s work and her contribution to our mission, and we wish her the best of luck as she takes on her next endeavor.”

ONE’s Co-founder Bono added:

“In a world on fire, literally and figuratively, ONE’s work has never been more important and – in a time of bitter political division – its nonpartisan, reach across the aisle, compromise-is-not-a-dirty-word ethos never more essential. ONE has always been about getting things done, and nearly 20 years in, results are what matters. ONE’s staff around the world wake up every day knowing their work can – and has – quite literally saved millions of lives. Gayle Smith is ONE-of-a-kind and I want to thank her for leading the charge these past six years.  She is a force of nature who has dedicated her heart, her mind and her deft diplomatic skills to fighting for justice and against poverty for decades. As she leaves us as CEO, I know we’ll remain allies in pursuing ONE’s mission.”