Press Releases

Population Council’s Third Annual Ideas with Impact Awards Honors Global Health Leaders

Honorees include the Elton John AIDS Foundation and Outgoing Council Board Chair Mark A. Walker

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (14 October 2016) — The Population Council hosted the third annual Ideas With Impact Awards ceremony in New York City on Thursday night, 13 October 2016.  Photos from the evening are available here:

The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, the Council delivers solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world.

The benefit recognized the Elton John AIDS Foundation with the 2016 Impact Award honoring its support, advocacy, and leadership in realizing the goal of an AIDS-free future.  David Furnish, chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, accepted the award. 

"If we want to end the AIDS epidemic, we must continue to invest in approaches to prevent people most at risk from becoming infected with HIV," said David Furnish, chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.  "The Population Council's Men’s Health Network, Nigeria, which has provided more than 100,000 high-risk men and their partners with comprehensive, stigma-free health services, shows that it is possible to reach at-risk populations with essential services, even in difficult environments." 

"It is our mission to ensure the world has the information and means to prevent new HIV infections and that all people living with HIV have access to high-quality care and treatment," said Sir. Elton John, founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.  "We commend the Population Council in helping the world to generate important evidence to guide the way and we are honored to receive the 2016 Impact Award." 

Mark A. Walker, Chairman of the Population Council Board of Trustees, was also recognized and received the 2016 Champion Award, in honor of his commitment to global health and development.  Mark A. Walker is a managing director at Millstein & Co., a financial services firm. 

"For over 60 years, the Council has been at the forefront of social science and biomedical research that has played an essential role in improving global health and development outcomes," said Mark A. Walker. "It has been an honor and a privilege to work with Council experts for more than 13 years.  These women and men work selflessly to generate innovative ideas and evidence that informs policies and programs that have a lasting impact on the lives of the most vulnerable populations.  Tonight’s celebration is both a testament to their dedication and a reminder of how much more can be done with your support."

"Tonight’s honorees have deep commitments to and a long history of supporting the issues that are at the heart of the Population Council’s work," said Julia Bunting, president of the Population Council. "The Elton John AIDS Foundation and Mark A. Walker have been champions of our work and of efforts to share critical evidence that improves the health and well-being of people around the world. It is fitting that we honor them tonight."

The Population Council Ideas with Impact Awards were co-chaired by Elizabeth Eder Zobel de Ayala and Carolyn Makinson.  Key Global Sponsors included: Darcy Bradbury & Eric Seiler; The Edlow Family; Millstein & Co; and Jaime & Lizzie Zobel de Ayala. Key Country Sponsors included: Vennue and Tammy Allen & Dan Gropper; Bayer HealthCare; Julia Bunting & Barrie Thring; Cleary Gottlieb; Sukey Wagner; and Mark A. & Tania Walker.