Sabin Vaccine Institute Elects New Trustees Bringing Expertise to Support Program Growth

Washington, DC, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES

Washington, D.C., Aug. 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) announces the appointment of three new members to its Board of Trustees. Joining the Board are Drs. Elizabeth Fox, Saad Omer and Jacqueline Shea, well-respected leaders whose range of skills and experience promise to advance Sabin’s aim to ensure all people, everywhere get the vaccines they need.

“The Board is pleased to welcome our three newest members,” said Dr. Axel Hoos, chair of the Sabin Board of Trustees. “Their combined expertise in global health, life sciences and vaccinology will be invaluable as we work to advance Sabin’s mission and maximize the impact of our diverse portfolio of programs.”

Amy Finan, chief executive officer at Sabin, echoed Hoos, citing exciting times ahead for the organization. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Elizabeth, Saad and Jacqui join us. Their unique backgrounds will be a tremendous asset to Sabin’s Board of Trustees and to the organization as a whole as we prepare to expand and launch new programs,” said Finan. “At Sabin, we are dedicated to extending the benefits of vaccines to everyone, and this vision is what drives us in 2019 and beyond.”

Fox recently retired as deputy coordinator for Maternal and Child Survival at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In her 23 years at USAID, she supported the Agency’s goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths in a generation. Her expertise in global health, social and behavioral science and communications will be a meaningful addition to Sabin’s work in vaccine acceptance, capacity building and advocacy.

“It is an honor to join the Sabin team to help achieve the vision of a future free from vaccine-preventable disease,” said Fox. “A vaccine can mean the difference between life and death for a child. I look forward to working to expand the organization’s global impact and ensure that we are doing all we can to help more children live long, healthy lives.”

Effective July 2019, Omer is the inaugural director of Yale Institute for Global Health. His research on the efficacy of maternal and infant vaccines and his insight into proven interventions to enhance immunization coverage will help inform Sabin’s global immunization programs, including evidence-based policy and advocacy, as well as research and development efforts.

“Immunization has brought us some of the greatest public health successes the world has ever seen,” said Omer. “I feel passionately about the need for scientific approaches to immunization policy and communication and look forward to being a part of Sabin’s initiatives to protect human health, especially the world’s poorest populations.”

Shea, who joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as chief operating officer in March 2019, is a highly respected global health leader, scientist and operational and business development expert. Formerly, Shea was chief executive officer of Aeras, a non-profit global health organization dedicated to developing tuberculosis (TB) vaccines. Her record leading a non-profit vaccine organization and advancing groundbreaking vaccines will help guide Sabin’s operations and shape its research and development efforts in the upcoming years.

“I look forward to beginning my new role as a Sabin Trustee and continuing my personal commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable people,” said Shea. “I am driven to protect human health through new and better vaccines and I’m excited to play a part in Sabin’s contribution in this field, especially in the area of vaccine R&D.”

Fox, Omer and Shea join Hoos, Finan, Wendy Commins Holman, Michael W. Marine, Regina Rabinovich, Philip K. Russell, and Peter L. Thoren as Sabin Board Trustees. Learn more at


About Elizabeth Fox, Ph.D.
Fox is a senior leader and technical expert with 40 years’ experience making communications, behavior and culture central to health programs around the world. During her 23-year career at USAID, most recently as deputy coordinator for Maternal and Child Survival and senior adviser in Global Health, she built and managed large global health initiatives and led multi-disciplinary teams to achieve ambitious, measurable health goals. She is a recognized expert in advancing the application of evidenced-based social sciences to public health. Before joining USAID, Fox was the manager of strategic planning at the International Bureau of Broadcasting. She spent 10 years in Colombia and Argentina with the International Development Research Centre of Canada as the social sciences representative for Latin America. Fox holds a doctorate in international relations, a master’s degree in communications, and a degree in journalism. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Peru. In 1990, Fox held the first UNESCO chair in communication at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona.  

About Saad Omer, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., Ph.D.
As of July 2019, Omer serves as the inaugural director of Yale Institute for Global Health. He was formerly the William H. Foege chair in Global Health and professor of Global Health, Epidemiology & Pediatrics at Emory University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine. During his career, Omer has conducted studies – including vaccine clinical trials – in Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and the United States. Moreover, he has conducted several studies on interventions to increase immunization coverage and demand. Omer’s work has been cited in global and country-specific policy recommendations and has informed clinical practice and health legislation in several countries. Omer has published approximately 250 papers in peer reviewed journals and has received multiple awards – including the Maurice Hilleman Award by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases for his seminal work on the impact of maternal influenza immunization on respiratory illness in infants younger than 6 months – for whom there is no vaccine. Omer earned a doctorate in global disease epidemiology and control, a master’s degree in public health and a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery.

About Jacqueline Shea, Ph.D.
Shea joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as its chief operating officer in March 2019, and was previously the chief executive officer at Aeras. An accomplished operational and business development executive with more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry, Shea combines commercial acumen with her strong scientific base in molecular biology, immunology and infectious disease. Prior to Aeras, she spent eight years in a variety of senior management roles with Emergent BioSolutions, including five years as general manager and vice president of The Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium. She has spent much of her career dedicated to developing products to prevent and treat infectious diseases. She has played a leading role in advancing new TB vaccines over the past decade. She holds 20 patents, including those for gene identification technology and Salmonella virulence genes. Shea received her doctorate from the National Institute for Medical Research in the U.K. and earned a bachelor’s degree in applied biology.

About The Sabin Vaccine Institute
The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.