Reception to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of Fondation Mérieux and to introduce the newly created Fondation Mérieux USA
Maison Française, Washington, DC, November 2, 2012
Pr. David Heymann, Chairman of the Fondation Mérieux USA,
Dr Louise Gresham, CEO of the Fondation Mérieux USA,
Madame Karine Mehler, Board Member of the Fondation Mérieux et the Fondation Mérieux USA, who has come specially from Paris to be with us this evening,
Distinguished guests, dear friends,
It’s a great pleasure for our minister-counsellor Frédéric Doré, for the Embassy Team and for me to welcome you tonight to the Maison Française for this dinner in honor of the Fondation Mérieux.
As the representative of France in the United States, it is a privilege for me to celebrate the Fondation Mérieux’s long journey to reduce the global impact of infectious diseases on the world’s most vulnerable populations.
This year, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Lyon-based Fondation Mérieux, and the great progress it has made in West Africa, the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East to create high-caliber clinical biology laboratories in isolated regions and to establish a wonderful network of biology laboratories. With the help of colleagues in the academic world, many men and women have been trained to become healthcare decision-makers in their own countries.
Fondation Mérieux is committed to taking a long-term view, and recent upheavals experienced in a number of countries have confirmed that this is indeed the right approach.
Tonight, we also introduce the newest phase of the Fondation Mérieux’s journey: the establishment of Fondation Merieux USA, an independent 501(c)3 headquartered here in the DC area to seek new partnerships and participate in U.S. global health endeavors.
The U.S. is a global leader in the fight against neglected tropical diseases. France is also a key global player in this field. To take just one example, France helps prevent and treat malaria for more than 50 million people every year. France and the U.S. rank number-one in global funding for development assistance.
Global health is at the top of France’s foreign aid agenda, particularly the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. It stands alongside the United States as a major contributor to global health. This agenda also places France in hotspots where Fondation Mérieux is working to save lives. Mérieux is known for ensuring clinical excellence and access to quality diagnostics with an emphasis on “country-level leadership” in more than a dozen nations, including Mali, Haiti, Cambodia, Laos, China and Lebanon.
The growing influence of non-state actors is transforming foreign policy in the 21st century. Among these actors, Mérieux invests in global health to promote social and economic progress, and to support the rise of capable partners who can help us solve regional and global problems.
Countering infectious diseases requires action on the part of the international community and the pooling of knowledge from all fields. It is vital for researchers, practitioners, and the community to work together. Mérieux is a trusted partner and I am delighted that you have this opportunity to meet the Board, CEO and staff of the new Fondation Mérieux USA tonight.
Mérieux is actively seeking to establish new scientific and financial partnerships with international organizations, research centers, other foundations and the industrial sector. With France’s longstanding commitment to global health and medical achievements and with American leadership in global health, our partnership can create long-lasting results. I could not be happier to see the ties between our two nations strengthened through this new initiative.
And again as the French Ambassador in this country, I am very proud of Fondation Mérieux.
My warmest thanks again to each and everyone of you.
I wish you a pleasant evening, an excellent dinner, and above all, much success for the achievements of Fondation Mérieux USA.