Liberian President to Keynote Gala for Global Health

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Center for Infectious Disease Research announced today that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia will be the keynote speaker at the 11th annual Gala for Global Health.

President Sirleaf has been at the forefront of the recent Ebola outbreak as Liberia has been one of the most affected countries with over 4,600 deaths from the disease. During the height of the outbreak, President Sirleaf called upon countries and citizens from around the world to help fight the deadly infectious disease, whether it was through funds, medical supplies or clinical expertise.

This will be President Sirleaf’s first public appearance since the Ebola outbreak. It also marks President Sirleaf’s first time in Seattle.

“We’re honored to have President Sirleaf as our keynote speaker,” said Alan Aderem, PhD, president and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research. “She has seen firsthand the devastating effect infectious diseases can have on entire populations and can speak to the critical importance of funding infectious disease research.”

In 2005, President Sirleaf became the first elected female head of state in Africa. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2011, for her work with women and young girls. Additionally, in April 2015, President Sirleaf was named one of the world’s fifty greatest leaders by Fortune magazine.

Following her speech at the Gala for Global Health, there will be a moderated question and answer session.

“We believe President Sirleaf can shine a light on the critical need to fund infectious disease research,” said John Aitchison, PhD, scientific director at the Center for Infectious Disease Research. “We hope people from around the region and throughout the country will join us at the event to hear from this courageous leader.”

The Gala for Global Health is the premier global health event in the Pacific Northwest and serves as the main fundraising event for the Center for Infectious Disease Research. The Gala will take place Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. Additional information can be found at

About the Center for Infectious Disease Research

The Center for Infectious Disease Research is the largest independent, nonprofit organization in the U.S. focused solely on infectious disease research. Our mission is to make transformative scientific advancements that lead to the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. We advance the science to develop vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics for infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria that claim the lives of millions of people every year. With your support in advancing our research we seek to build a healthier, more hopeful world. For more information, visit

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