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Center Director Delivers Keynote Speech at Annual Certificate in Responsible Management Ceremony

David Greeley

David Greeley, Director and Vice President of the Center for Private Sector Health Initiatives, was the keynote speaker last week at George Washington (GW) University's first Annual Certificate in Responsible Management (CRM) Award Ceremony. The event was attended by this year's five award recipients; students enrolled in the certificate program; students interested in public private partnerships and corporate social responsibility; GW faculty; and the Dean of GW's business school. The certification program is a recent addition to GW’s MBA program and works to reward students for their dedication to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a framework crafted in December 2009 at a United Nations conference in New York City. As a signatory school of PRME, GW will uphold the following six principles within its MBA program: purpose, values, method, research, partnership, and dialogue.

Mr. Greeley commended students on the commitment and hard work they have demonstrated to obtain the certificate as well as urged students to follow their passion wherever it takes them. In his remarks, Mr. Greeley said that he viewed the certificate as a diploma in "Passionate Practicality,” and urged students to take advantage of discipline they acquired in business school, matching it with the passions they have to make the world a better place, whether reflected via working on educational projects in US inner cities or addressing global public health challenges in the developing world. Mr. Greeley reflected on his own personal experiences with HIV and AIDS which led him to join one of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical companies and leader in anti-retroviral medicines, Merck, where he worked to develop the company’s differential pricing policy. As a result, 85% of people using Merck's ARVs today obtain them at prices that render no direct profit on their sale. He further described some of the work he is currently doing at AED, such as collaborating with food manufacturers in South Africa to develop product brands fortified with micronutrients to benefit the 25% of the population that is currently under or malnourished.

Mr. Greeley explained that while the term “public private partnerships” is in vogue, the devil of successful project implementation is in the details. Part of the problem, he asserted, is that people sometimes don't speak the same language and lack an understanding of other organization's cultures, resulting in a lack of trust. Having worked in both corporate and NGO realms, Mr. Greeley noted that he was fortunate to have spent his career bridging divides. He gave an example of how he was able to disarm skeptical AIDS activists when presenting Merck's HIV pricing and HIV in the workplace policies; while speaking with the activists, he recounted personal experiences with HIV positive family members in low-resource settings as well as professional experiences working with NGOs to get needed health products and services to those most-at-risk for HIV/AIDS. Likewise, when he had to defend and get approval for his various HIV/AIDS initiatives at Merck - including from the Company's CEO and Board of Directors - he was able to talk with credibility, given his knowledge of realities in the field.

Mr. Greeley concluded his remarks by suggesting that students who obtain their CRM certificates are better positioned than traditional MBA students to bridge management gaps and to develop effective public-private partnerships because they will emerge from the program with a passionate understanding of, sensitivity to, and practical marketability for responsible management.

Click here to learn more about GW’s Certificate in Responsible Management Program.

To contact David Greeley, please e-mail him

Posted April 2010