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Bill Richardson Joins Fight Against Global Child Pneumonia

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson named to the board of the Best Shot Foundation

Washington, D.C. - Best Shot Foundation, a leading organization devoted to fighting the world's deadliest killer of children under the age of five, announced today that recent New Mexico Governor William B. (Bill) Richardson III, has been elected to its Board of Directors.   Richardson, former Secretary of Energy and Ambassador to the UN, becomes the sixth board member of the two-year-old foundation, seeking to reduce mortality from pneumonia, which kills more than 1.5 million infants and children annually.

"I am pleased to join a forward-thinking organization like Best Shot and provide my background, experience, and energy to fight childhood pneumonia," Richardson said.  "I pledge my support for the Foundation's coming initiatives to educate and motivate the American public and to advise policy makers of the global burden of childhood pneumonia.  I know we can use existing cost-effective means like vaccinations and antibiotics and build new mechanisms to combat pneumonia and save precious young lives."

On Richardson's involvement, Best Shot Executive Director David Rubenstein stated, "On behalf of the board and the entire membership of the Best Shot Foundation, I am delighted to welcome Bill Richardson into our family of committed advocates in the struggle to reduce the global death toll.  His involvement, coupled with his deep knowledge of the health issues and worldwide efforts to eradicate disease through inexpensive vaccines and governmental interventions, will have an immediate and positive impact on our cause."

Rubenstein founded Best Shot following his successful organizing efforts of the 180-group, one-million-member Save Darfur Coalition.  Under his leadership, that organization increased public awareness of the human crisis in that African region and attracted more than $50 million in donations while recruiting celebrities and political leaders to a previously hidden cause.

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Best Shot Foundation, launched in Washington in 2009, is devoted to the global plight the 1.5 million children younger than five who die of pneumonia each year - more than HIV/AIDS, measles and malaria combined. With inexpensive vaccinations and governmental and public financial assistance, one million young lives could be saved annually.  Best Shot works in cooperation with others including Save the Children, the GAVI Alliance, the CDC, and the International Vaccine Access Center of Johns Hopkins University.

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