Serve, Lead, Learn: Corporations Pair Leadership Development With Pro Bono Service to Improve Health in Rwanda

Feb 7, 2018 1:15 PM ET
Press Release

WASHINGTON, February 7, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Four leading global companies have joined forces to place one of their most precious resources—their people—to work on strengthening health systems in Kigali, Rwanda.  The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), SAP, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and WE Communications will each send top professionals into the field to work pro bono as Global Health Corporate Champions.

The highly skilled business professionals will work for four weeks as pro bono consultants with local non-profit organizations focused on improving public health and well-being in order to increase capacity to serve their stakeholders even better.

 “We are excited to partner again this year with PYXERA Global to give our employees the opportunity to use their storytelling and communications skills to support local health development in Rwanda. Purpose and community have always been at the center of what it means to work at WE. This is why we’re honored to be able to support nonprofits in need with our employees’ expertise in transformative storytelling. We’re thrilled to be able to invest in our employees in this way, and eager to see the difference they will make,” said Kate Richmond, WE Communications Chief Talent Officer.

The practice, known broadly as Global Pro Bono is often characterized as a ‘triple win’: participants gain an unprecedented opportunity to develop their global leadership skills; local organizations gain access to expertise that might otherwise be inaccessible, and companies gain employees with strengthened capabilities, insight into emerging markets, and well deserved reputations for corporate social responsibility.

“For nearly a decade GSK has pioneered pro bono fellowships, sending highly skilled employees on 3 or 6 month assignments to help solve healthcare challenges at home and abroad. But we also want to democratize volunteering at GSK—making it more accessible to people who can’t take on that long of a commitment—and we know that some of the biggest healthcare challenges cannot be solved by one company, industry or sector alone. That’s why we’re so excited about the opportunity to join the other companies for the Global Health Corporate Champions. We know that employees of today and tomorrow don’t just want to make a living—they want to make a difference. This is one more opportunity where we offer them the chance to do just that,” said Ahsiya Mencin, Ph.D. Director, PULSE & Global Volunteering for GSK.

An activity of the USAID Global Health Bureau’s Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II, implemented by The Public Health Institute and supported by PYXERA Global, the Global Health Corporate Champions is also an example of the power of collaboration across the public and private sectors.

“As the global health field evolves in an increasingly connected world, more and more global health work is being carried out by teams and alliances with multiple players—like the Global Health Corporate Champions–across disciplines, industries, and sectors. We increasingly see the need for effective communication, collaboration, and teamwork in the most challenging and challenged places in the world, which activities like this help to develop, at the same time they serve,” said GHFP-II Program Director Sharon Rudy, Ph.D.

The Global Health Corporate Champions will serve in Rwanda from February 26 to March 23.  Openings remain in a second multi-company cohort of corporate champions which will depart for service in Sub Saharan Africa in mid-July.  For more information, see .

About Global Health Fellows Program (GFHP) II


The Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II is USAID’s premier fellowship program that identifies and supports diverse, technically excellent professionals at all levels to achieve the Agency’s health priorities. USAID uses GHFP-II to address its immediate and emerging human capital needs to support and sustain the effectiveness of current and future health programs. As new health challenges emerge and complex global initiatives are created to meet them, the ability to respond effectively is crucial. The vision of GHFP-II is to develop a diverse group of global health experts by recruiting, placing, and supporting health professionals in Fellowships and Internships with USAID and partner organizations. GHFP-II is implemented by the Public Health Institute and its partners Global Health Corps, GlobeMed, Management Systems International, and PYXERA Global.

About PYXERA Global

For more than 27 years, PYXERA Global has leveraged the unique strengths of corporations, governments, social sector organizations, educational institutions, and individuals to enhance the abilities of people and communities to solve complex problems and attain mutually beneficial goals.

The PYXERA Global team is passionate and dedicated to navigating challenges and pinpointing purposeful global engagement opportunities for its clients and partners. Initiatives include a wide range of services from local content development to global pro bono programs and integrated community development efforts that transform lives and livelihoods.

PYXERA Global will host The Global Engagement Forum: Live 2018, October 10-11 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, focused on solving solvable problems within the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For questions please contact:

Contact:  Katie Levey
Senior Director of Communications, PYXERA Global