Richard Ditizio, CEO

Published April 21, 2023

From the CEO

Searching for a theme for this year’s Global Conference — one that encapsulated all that’s unfolded as we trudge out of the pandemic and pivot forward with the shrapnel of that experience still raw — has proved challenging. As is our wont, we leaned into optimism with the theme “Advancing a Thriving World,” recognizing that large portions of the global community don’t feel they are thriving at all, and tasking our attendees from government, industry, medicine and the philanthropic community to bring their best thinking toward fixing that.

But before Covid-19 recedes too far into the haze of the past few years, we are also tasked with being deliberate in thinking about what we’ve learned. As business travel resumed in earnest this past year and I found myself in Asia, Europe and Latin America (and all over the U.S.), I would consistently ask people what surprised them most about the pandemic.

One revelation: more Americans have died from Covid-19 in the past three years than from HIV-AIDS in the past 40-plus. You likely wouldn’t have predicted that, with two viruses decades apart, the one with effective vaccine regimens would kill more than the one without. Nor would you expect that someone’s zip code could forecast pandemic and other health-related outcomes so accurately. The health and economic inequities laid bare over the past few years didn’t just start with the pandemic. But hopefully, the pandemic did start their end.

These realities have greatly informed our work at the Institute, as we have focused on these maladies of inequity and engaged our partners to devise remedies. Specifically:

  • We are championing the inclusion of diverse patients in clinical trials from which they have been excluded in the past.
  • We are working with the asset management industry to create pathways for success for people from marginalized communities who’ve never reached adequate representation in those workplaces.
  • We’re expanding our partnership with the World Bank/IFC, working with finance ministries globally to create capital markets infrastructure in countries needing alternatives to traditional banking, which has left so many behind.
  • We are engaging our global community of asset owners to use their financial leverage to push against seemingly ever-present gender disparities in pay and accountability.
  • We are working with philanthropists to catalyze their capital in new and more inclusive ways, understanding and addressing underlying causal factors that limit access.

The list goes on.

My optimism stems from the willingness of our global constituents to engage so earnestly across the spectrum of issues, lending their talents and capital to promote lasting solutions. I know we’re not all equally thriving yet, but this seems a good start.

Richard Ditizio, CEO