UN Foundation Announces Executive Director and Director for New Campaign to Advocate for the Value of Global Vaccines in Saving Lives

Peg Willingham And Devi Thomas Bring Vaccine And Cause Marketing Expertise To The UN Foundation

Washington, D.C.

September 13, 2011


Alexis Krieg

The UN Foundation today announced that Peg Willingham will serve as the new Executive Director of the global vaccines campaign that will preview on September 19. Also joining the team as campaign Director is Devi Ramachandran Thomas. The new campaign will educate, connect and empower Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective way to save the lives of children in developing countries.

“The global vaccines campaign builds on the UN Foundation’s 13-year history of helping the UN fight diseases, especially measles and polio,” said Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. “Under Peg and Devi’s leadership, the campaign will bring additional energy and support to this case and help create a healthier world.”

Peg Willingham joined the United Nations Foundation to launch and lead this campaign to raise awareness and resources in the U.S. to support the work of the UN and other partners working to immunize children in developing countries. Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Peg was the Senior Director of External Affairs at the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, overseeing advocacy, communications, and resource mobilization efforts. She has also held senior positions in the global health community at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and was the Assistant Vice President for Latin America and Canada for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Peg spent 13 years as a Foreign Service Officer, serving in Latin America and the Middle East, and received a BA from the University of Virginia and an MA from the University of Michigan.

“As a long-time vaccine advocate, I have seen the momentum building around the world to bring vaccines to the children that need them the most,” said Peg Willingham. “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with so many dedicated partners to expand access for the one in five children who currently miss out on life-saving vaccines.”

Devi Ramachandran Thomas joined the UN Foundation in May 2011 as Director of the global vaccines campaign, to manage the campaign and oversee the daily programmatic, communications, marketing, and fundraising needs of the campaign. Prior to joining the Foundation, Devi worked as a senior consultant in sustainability and cause marketing strategies. She also held the position of Director of Cause Branding at Cone, Inc., a leading cause communications agency where she specialized in corporate cause marketing campaigns and public-private partnerships.  For over seven years, Devi has led strategic marketing, corporate social responsibility and shared value philanthropic campaigns, including work for clients such as Pfizer, ITT Corporation, Wal-Mart, and Western Union. She has worked on award-winning campaigns including ITT Watermark, ITT’s signature corporate citizenship program and Western Union’s Our World Our Family. Devi holds a Master of International Relations from Boston University.

“We hope to mobilize socially engaged Americans to learn about and advocate for this cause to ensure all children in developing countries have access to immunizations. As a mother of an infant and a cause advocate, and I am excited to give every child a shot at more firsts and chance at a healthy life,” said Devi Thomas.


About the UN Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation builds and implements public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and works to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through campaigns and partnerships, the organization connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.