PATH president and CEO to step down

October 31, 2011 by PATH

Amy MacIver, 206.302.4522,

Seattle, October 31, 2011—PATH announced today that Dr. Christopher J. Elias will step down from his position of president and chief executive officer. Elias leaves PATH after 11 years of service to take the position of president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Chris is a truly exceptional leader, and he has fostered a deeply innovative culture at PATH,” said Dr. Molly Joel Coye, chair of PATH’s board of directors. “It has been a privilege to work alongside him for these many years. Chris brought his insight and vision to bear on all aspects of PATH and contributed significantly to the advancement of global health. As a result of his leadership, PATH has established relationships throughout the public and private sectors, a robust project portfolio, and a reputation as an effective and innovative leader in global health.”

Elias joined PATH in 2000, when the organization had a budget of $44 million and a staff of 297 employees. He led the organization through a period of significant growth and now oversees an annual budget of $295 million and more than 1,100 staff members. Under Elias’ leadership, PATH developed numerous low-cost, high-impact health solutions, including an affordable meningitis vaccine, better systems for malaria bednet distribution, and integrated strategies that prevent and treat diarrheal disease. In the past year, PATH programs have reached an estimated 45 million direct and indirect beneficiaries.

“Developing and delivering global health solutions with my colleagues at PATH has been an honor and a privilege. It isn’t easy to leave such a talented and committed team. But I leave knowing that PATH is an exceptionally strong organization with an even brighter future ahead,” said Elias. “I look forward to watching PATH continue to innovate and improve the lives of people around the world.”

As president of the Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program, Elias will help lead the foundation’s efforts to increase opportunities for people in developing countries to overcome hunger, poverty, and disease. Headquartered in Seattle, the Gates Foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates, Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Elias will remain in his role at PATH through January 2012. Molly Joel Coye will lead a board committee in the search for his successor, which will begin immediately.