EcoHealth Alliance Announces Dr. Rita Colwell’s Election to Board of Directors

NEW YORK – November 27, 2012

EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local conservation and global health issues, announced the election of a new member to its Board of Directors.  EcoHealth Alliance continues to attract top-level directors to its diverse Board with the addition of Dr. Rita R. Colwell.  EcoHealth Alliance’s Board of Directors approve the strategic direction of the organization as well as ensure its financial health and sustainability.  Over 40 years of innovative science has built the foundation of EcoHealth Alliance’s rigorous, science-based approach, focused at the intersection of the environment, health, and capacity building.

Dr. Rita R. Colwell is a distinguished university professor at both the University of Maryland and at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Colwell is also Senior Advisor and Chairman Emeritus at Canon US Life Sciences, Inc., and President and Chairman of CosmosID, Inc.  Dr. Colwell’s interests are focused on global infectious diseases, water, and health.  She is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world.  “It is my pleasure and honor to welcome Dr. Colwell to our organization, she is a respected scientist, educator and leader whose accomplishments in science and policy are exemplary.  Her expertise will help ensure a glowing future for our organization,” said Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance. 

Dr. Colwell has held many advisory positions in the U.S. Government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community.  She is a renowned scientist and educator, and has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 800 scientific publications.

Dr. Colwell previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Microbiology and also as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Sigma Xi National Science Honorary Society, and the International Union of Microbiological Societies.  Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the Royal Society of Canada, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Dr. Colwell has also been awarded 55 honorary degrees from institutions of higher education, including her Alma Mater, Purdue University and is the recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, bestowed by the Emperor of Japan, the 2006 National Medal of Science awarded by the President of the United States, and the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize awarded by the King of Sweden. Dr. Colwell holds a B.S. in Bacteriology and an M.S. in Genetics from Purdue University and she received her Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Washington.

About EcoHealth Alliance
Building on over 40 years of groundbreaking science, EcoHealth Alliance is a global, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and safeguarding human health from the emergence of disease. The organization develops ways to combat the effects of damaged ecosystems on human and wildlife health.  Using environmental and health data covering the past 60 years, EcoHealth Alliance scientists created the first-ever, global disease hotspots map that identified at-risk regions, to help predict and prevent the next pandemic crisis. That work is the foundation of EcoHealth Alliance’s rigorous, science-based approach, focused at the intersection of the environment, health, and capacity building.  Working in the U.S. and more than 20 countries worldwide, EcoHealth Alliance’s strength is founded on innovations in research, training, global partnerships, and policy initiatives.  For more information, please visit


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