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Posted: 17 July 2008

UCD Professor elected to The Atlantic Philanthropies Board

Professor William “Billy” Hall from the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science, and Director of the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases, has been elected to the board of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic focuses on four critical social problems: Ageing, Disadvantaged Children & Youth, Population Health, and Reconciliation & Human Rights. 

Programmes funded by Atlantic operate in Australia, Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam.

To achieve its mission, Atlantic partners with grantees, other funders and governments. It believes in the power of advocacy by those who will benefit by it, especially the disadvantaged. To that end, Atlantic supports targeted initiatives, ranging from the Treatment Action Campaign, which influenced the government of South Africa to provide effective medications to people with HIV/AIDS, to the legal team which persuaded the Supreme Court to abolish the juvenile death penalty in the United States, to the effort to increase the number of religiously integrated schools in Northern Ireland.

In addition to these tangible campaigns, Atlantic seeks always to strengthen the capacity of leaders and institutions in the fields we have chosen, since this is the best insurance of a vibrant movement for social equality and justice that will endure long after Atlantic has made its last grant.

Professor Hall is an expert in infectious diseases and virology; and in the role of viruses in the development of leukaemia and lymphoma. Prior to his tenure at University College Dublin, he was Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Medical Virology, Senior Physician and Direct of the Clinical Research Centre at the Rockefeller University in New York.

He is a consultant to the Minister for Heath and Children, Mary Harney TD, providing input on a number of topics including influenza pandemic preparedness and bioterrorism, and is a member of the National Public Health Emergency Team.  Professor Hall was the project coordinator for Ireland for the Vietnam Blood Borne Virus Initiative, a project supported by Irish Aid and The Atlantic Philanthropies. He is Chair of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of Irish Aid, which advises the Minister of State in the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Irish Government on overseas development aid.

A Belfast native, Professor Hall earned his PhD from Queen’s University and his MD from Cornell University Medical College in New York.

The board of The Atlantic Philantropies has also elected Frederick “Fritz” A. O. Schwarz, Jr. as chairman and Cecilia Munoz, Vice President of the National Council of LaRaza, based in Washington, DC as a new member of the board.

“We’re pleased to welcome Billy and Cecilia to our board and look forward to being informed and challenged by each of them,” said Schwarz. “Both have powerful intellects and wide-ranging interests. Cecilia will especially help our board to think strategically about advocacy campaigns, and Billy’s background will be invaluable in guiding our health and medical work.”

Schwarz succeeds Frank Rhodes, President Emeritus of Cornell University, a board member since 1995 who had served as Atlantic’s Chairman since October 2000 and who has stepped down from the board.

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Professor Billy Hall, who has been elected to the board of The Atlantic Philanthropies