Dr. Christopher J. Elias, president and chief executive officer of Seattle-based PATH, has been chosen to receive the UW School of Public Health’s 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
PATH is an international nonprofit organization working in more than 70 countries. It is dedicated to improving the health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors.
Elias represents PATH at domestic and international forums as an advocate for innovative responses to global health challenges. The boards he serves on include the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, InterAction, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Rural Development Institute, and Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association.
Elias was honored as the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the United States in 2005 and named Global Health Research Ambassador by the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research in 2007. Under his leadership, PATH was awarded the Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2009.
Elias received an M.D. degree from Creighton University and an M.P.H. from the UW School of Public Health. He is a clinical associate professor in the School’s Department of Health Services. During his early career he worked in reproductive health and refugee assistance in Southeast Asia.
Lisa Cohen, director of the Washington Global Health Alliance, called Elias an “inspiring example to others who might follow in his footsteps. He has dedicated his career to tackling the complex problems and humanitarian challenges of global health all across the world. He is an innovative thinker and a visionary leader whose efforts are having a real impact on the lives of the world’s neediest citizens.”
The award will be presented June 11 during the School’s graduation exercises at Hogness Auditorium.