In his Baccalaureate address to the Brown University graduates of 2022, Seth Berkley ScB’78, M.D.’81, gave credit to Brown for imparting to him the principles that guided his career for over 40 years. “The values (Brown) instills,” he said, “really gave me a sense of purpose and passion for the pursuit of truth and a desire to always strive to do the right thing.”
That sense of purpose led him to the CDC following his training at the Warren Alpert Medical School, then to Uganda, where he worked as an epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health during the rise of the country’s AIDS epidemic. He then spent eight years with the Rockefeller Foundation managing programs in epidemiology, public health, medical and nursing education, vaccination, AIDS, STIs, and reproductive health in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
From 2011 to 2023 Berkley served as CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. During his tenure at Gavi, Berkley led a team that worked toward broadening global immunization access, resulting in more than half of the world’s children being vaccinated annually. His leadership was equally significant in co-founding and spearheading COVAX, an initiative that facilitated the distribution of over 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to 146 nations.