In 1988, Rotary formally kicked off its PolioPlus program, in concert with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. UNICEF and the World Health Organization became the implementation partners in what became the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a unique collaboration in the world of global health.
About ten years ago, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the partnership, committing its substantial resources to the fight. Already more than $1 billion in, the Gates Foundation maintains its commitment to see this through.
Suchita Guntakatta, deputy director of global development over polio eradication at the Gates Foundation, joined me to talk about the progress toward eradication and the Foundation’s commitment to see this through to the end.
Suchita joined me for this discussion at World Polio Day on October 24, 2018, at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, hosted by Rotary International. Be sure to watch the full interview in the player at the top of this article.
Interview with Suchita Guntakatta, the Deputy Director, Global Development – Polio of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The following is the pre-interview with Suchita Guntakatta. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.
For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit
Current number of foundation employees: 1,541
Foundation Trust Endowment: $50.7 billion (3)
Total grant payments since inception (through Q4 2017): $46.0 billion
Total 2017 Direct Grantee Support: $4.7 billion
Total 2016 Direct Grantee Support: $4.6 billion
What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?
Read more about The Gates Foundation efforts to eradicate polio through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative here.
More about Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
Suchita Guntakatta’s bio:
Suchita Guntakatta joined the foundation March 2009 with the Global Development, Vaccine Delivery and Polio teams. In 2015, she transitioned her time solely to Polio and is responsible for leading the strategic planning, financial planning, and operational activities. Suchita’s career started in corporate and management consulting with over 15 years of experience in strategy, operations, and portfolio management. Prior to joining the foundation, Suchita was vice president, Corporate Operations Strategy & Planning with Discovery Communications, Inc. She was at Accenture for 10 years as a management consultant working with technology and media companies. During her time with Accenture, she worked on organizational performance and restructuring projects for her clients.