1998-2001. The Global Business Council on HIV and AIDS (GBC) was a young initiative involving CEOs of a few multi-national companies spearheading the business response to HIV/AIDS, mainly in the developing world. GlaxoWellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) served as the GBC’s secretariat until early 2000. In 1999, Glaxo hired me to devise and implement a broad-sweeping public information strategy, pivoting on their annual Awards for Business Excellence ceremony. Coverage from the Awards ceremony ranged from prize-winners’ local media outlets to a CNN interview with Glaxo’s chair, Sir Richard Sykes. Profile pieces appeared in The Economist and The Financial Times, among others. James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, agreed to serve as the GBC’s honorary chairman, and the speech I wrote for him on the unknown macro-economic affects of HIV/AIDS was broadcast worldwide.
The GBC used the June 2001 U.N. General Assembly Special Session on AIDS (UNGASS) to expand awareness and interest in the business response to AIDS among international policy-makers and prominent business leaders. I wrote the GBC Chair’s speech to the plenary session of the General Assembly, his remarks for a press conference called by the Secretary-General, notes for a panel presentation hosted by UNDP and ILO, and advised on the media strategy for the announcement of a new high-profile GBC President and a new membership.