Ashton Wingate — January 6, 2011 – 2:14 pm
The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) today announced the appointment of James T. Morris to its Board of Directors. Mr. Morris is currently President of Pacers Sports and Entertainment, which includes the Indiana Pacers NBA franchise, the Indiana Fever WNBA franchise, Conseco Fieldhouse, and the Pacers Foundation. Mr. Morris is also an accomplished humanitarian, having previously served as Executive Director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest food aid organization operating in 81 countries. Under his leadership, WFP’s funding and operations grew to unprecedented levels.
The TB Alliance is a not-for-profit organization searching for better, faster cures for tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is often thought of a disease of the past; however, it is still one of the world’s leading causes of death, killing nearly 2 million people each year. There have been no new TB drugs introduced in nearly 50 years. The current TB treatment takes 6-30 months to cure patients and, because of the difficulty in adhering to such a complex regimen, noncompliance is fueling the development of increasingly resistant and more deadly strains.
“We are excited about the appointment of James Morris to the TB Alliance’s Board of Directors,” said Dr. Bruce Carter, Chairman of the Board for the TB Alliance, and Executive Director, Immune Design. “Mr. Morris is an accomplished humanitarian, public servant, and business leader and he will be valuable in helping to guide the organization and raising awareness of the urgency and worthiness of the TB Alliance’s mission.”
“I’ve seen the impact of poverty on the world’s most vulnerable people, and I believe that finally defeating TB could be a transformative development for millions around the world,” said Mr. Morris. “I am eager to devote my skills, experience, and leadership to the TB Alliance and the pursuit of new and improved TB drugs to stop the devastating global impact of TB and drug-resistant TB.”
Prior to his service to the United Nations, Mr. Morris had a distinguished career in business and public service, including a tenure as President of the Lilly Endowment, Inc., one of the world’s largest private philanthropic foundations. Earlier in his career, Mr. Morris served as Chairman and CEO of IWC Resources Corporation and Indianapolis Water Company. Under his leadership, IWC grew to a multi-million dollar holding company with 2,500 employees. He spent six years in city government, primarily as Chief of Staff for former Indianapolis mayor (and current U.S. Senator) Richard Lugar, and has also generously volunteered his time to a number of local, national, and international organizations, including the United States Olympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Foundation, the American Red Cross, and his alma mater, Indiana University.