Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs (JHU∙CCP) presented its Gold Medallion award on April 25 to Gabrielle Fitzgerald for her role in preventing unnecessary deaths from malaria through her unwavering support of global advocacy for a malaria-free future.
Fitzgerald, Director, Global Program Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, accepted the award at a World Malaria Day celebration held at the Bloomberg School of Public Health that featured Nobel Prize-winner Peter Agre, who serves as director of Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, and Admiral Timothy Ziemer, the U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator and leader of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).
“Gabrielle singlehandedly united the global malaria advocacy community at a crucial point in time,” said Susan Krenn, Director of JHU∙CCP. “She recognized that advocacy was the missing piece of the malaria puzzle when malaria control funding was just beginning to ramp up.”
The Gates Foundation made JHU∙CCP’s Global Program on Malaria part of the advocacy community in 2006 with the award of the Voices for a Malaria-Free Future program. Voices, which ran for close to eight years, played a key role in advocacy efforts in malaria endemic regions through such campaigns as United Against Malaria.
“With increased support and a clear strategic vision for what was possible, Gabrielle helped align the stars,” said Matthew Lynch, PhD, Director of JHU∙CCP’s Global Program on Malaria. “With the community united, significant success became a reality in the past decade, with an estimated 3 million lives saved in Africa.”
Fitzgerald joined the Gates Foundation in 2004 and previously served as a Deputy Director for Global Health Policy & Advocacy and a program officer. Prior to the foundation, Gabrielle spent five years at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), focusing on HIV/AIDS and emergency programs. Previously, she managed communications for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and was a fellow with USAID/Zambia.
Earlier in her career, Gabrielle was a speechwriter for President Clinton at the White House, worked at the Department of Health and Human Services, and was a staff member on the 1992 Clinton/Gore Campaign.
Since 2005, JHU∙CCP’s Gold Medallion has been awarded to an individual or group making an outstanding contribution to saving lives and improving health through strategic communication. Past recipients include:
- Dan and Chip Heath, bestselling authors of the critically acclaimed books SWITCH: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard and Made to Stick
- Ms. Catherine Phiri, Social Responsibility Director for MTV Networks International
- Dr. Gregory Allgood and Ms. Marwa El Shahawy of Procter & Gamble
- Mr. Hiroshi Taniguchi, Policy Advisor for the Government of Japan.