Chris Elias


PATH chief to leave, will head to Gates Foundation | 

Chris Elias

Chris Elias, head of Seattle-based PATH, announced today that he is leaving, after a decade, to take over as head of the global development program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The news release includes these generic quotes:

“Chris brings great experience in managing complex programs on the ground, around the world,” said Jeff Raikes, CEO of the foundation. “He will help us expand the depth of our expertise from research and development through to delivery of the tools needed to give the poorest people the chance to live healthy and productive lives. I’m excited to work with Chris to strengthen our partnerships and maximize our impact.”

“I am deeply honored to be joining the Gates Foundation,” said Elias. “I look forward to applying my experience in health and development to help advance the foundation’s ambitious mission.”

Here is Elias’ letter to PATH staff:

I am writing with some important news about PATH and our leadership team.

Before I joined PATH in 2000, I knew it to be a highly effective global health organization. Continue reading

“On the ground” reality vs rhetoric regarding Obama’s Global Health Initiative | 

I wonder if anyone, other than those who want money from it, is paying that much attention to the Obama Administration’s once-ballyhooed grand vision known as the Global Health Initiative.

So far as I can tell the vision seems to be still a bit blurry and shrinking, from the original pledge of $63 billion over six years to maybe more like $55 billion, give or take a billion. Continue reading

Seattle still wants to save the world | 

As regular readers know, the title of last week’s “Can Seattle Save the World? (Poverty, Health and Chocolate)” was tongue-firmly-in-cheek, but also meant to raise some important questions. There’s a serious debate about the meaning and priority of “health” in “global health.”

"Can Seattle Save the World?" panel at Town Hall Seattle

Justin Steyer/KPLU

"Can Seattle Save the World?" panel at Town Hall Seattle, featuring Tom Paulson, Bill Foege, Chris Elias, Wendy Johnson, and Joe Whinney

The event itself proved so popular that we moved it to a room three times larger than originally planned — and nearly packed the room. Not to toot our horn too much, but immediate feedback was enthusiastic. “Do it again,” was the most common response.

We’d love to.

In the meantime, we are belatedly offering a replay. Seattle’s municipal cable TV station recorded the event, and edited it for local broadcast on May 5th at 2pm. It’s now also viewable at the Seattle Channel website and embedded below.

We have a few photos of our panelists (alas, none yet of the magnificent domed room or of the audience — if you have your own photos, please share) at our Flickr site.

There’s a lot of interest in continuing the discussion. Some provocative audience questions included: How can the development community start talking about projects that are not working — without jeopardizing funding for the good projects? What sort of careers are there, or should there be, for the hundreds of college students now majoring in Global Health?

A comment and question stream has started at this earlier post (as well as on Twitter at #SEAsaves).

PATH Prez Responds to Microbicide Post | 


Chris Elias

They’re a funny bunch, those PATH folks. I gave them credit for having long been advocates for an anti-HIV microbicide … and they take exception!

Here is a response from Dr. Chris Elias, president and CEO of PATH:

Thanks, Tom.

I think you have given PATH–and me–a bit too much credit, however. The recently announced results were the result of the vision and hard work of many people and institutions, most notably Salim Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim of CAPRISA, the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa.

Continue reading