While the United States, Europe and some developed nations have stemmed the coronavirus with large-scale vaccine campaigns, others without an adequate supply of doses are still struggling to inoculate their populations and control the spread of the virus. Join Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, chair José Manuel Barroso and Unilever CEO Alan Jope for a conversation about strengthening the COVID-19 recovery response globally, and the role of hygiene, sanitation and clean water to fight the spread of new strains and prevent future pandemics.


The Biden administration is buying 500 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to donate to the world. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, chair José Manuel Barroso said he’s "grateful” to the Biden administration, calling the decision “a great contribution.” (Washington Post Live)
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, chair José Manuel Barroso says the organization’s goal with COVAX is to have “$1.8 billion vaccines delivered” by the end of this year or the beginning of 2022. “If there is political will we can do it.’ (Washington Post Live)
When asked if patent protections for coronavirus vaccines should be waived to help increase global vaccine supplies, Unilever CEO Alan Jope said, “What we have is not a shortage of intellectual property. What we have is a supply chain constraint.” (Washington Post Live)

José Manuel Barroso

Provided by representatives of The Sanitation and Water for All partnership.

In September 2020, the Gavi Board appointed José Manuel Barroso as its new Chair, beginning in January 2021. Barroso served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 2002–2004 and as President of the European Commission from 2004–2014, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the European Union in 2012. He is currently non-executive Chairman of London-based Goldman Sachs International.

In 1985, Barroso was elected for the first of several times to the Portuguese Parliament (Assembleia da República) and served as Chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He was successively State Secretary in the Ministry of Internal Administration, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

While at Foreign Affairs, Barroso became mediator of the peace process for Angola (Bicesse Accords), and he was one of the initiators, under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the negotiations at the level of Foreign Ministers between Portugal and Indonesia, which would lead to the referendum for Timor-Leste's independence. He also promoted political and diplomatic initiatives with Brazil and the Portuguese-speaking African countries (Angola, Mozambique, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe) that were at the origin of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP). As Foreign Minister, Barroso was also responsible for negotiations with China regarding the transfer of Macau, as a Special Administrative Region, to Chinese sovereignty.

While serving as Prime Minister of Portugal, Barroso was invited by his European peers to be a candidate to the leadership of the European Commission and was elected by the European Parliament for two terms as President of the European Commission. In these functions, he committed special efforts to the enlargement and the incorporation of new members in the European Union, which, during his presidency, grew from 15 to 28 member states. Within the framework of the policy to combat climate change, Barroso launched the legislative package known as “20/20/20” for decarbonisation. He was at the centre of initiatives taken for the signature and ratification of the new European Union Treaties (Treaty of Lisbon), and also of the Commission's response to the post-2007 global financial crisis, namely with the Banking Union proposals and European legislation to regulate the financial sector. At the initiative of his Commission, the multiannual financial framework for 2014–2020 included Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for scientific research and innovation.

Currently, Barroso is a Visiting Professor at Universidade Catolica Portuguesa and Director of the Center for European Studies at its Institute for Political Studies. He is a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and teaches at the School of Transnational Governance of the European University Institute in Florence. He is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University. Earlier in his career, he was a teaching assistant at the Universities of Lisbon and Geneva, and a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Princeton University and the University of Geneva. He has published several books and articles in academic journals on political science and international relations.

Barroso graduated in Law (Licenciatura) and obtained a Master in Law from the University of Lisbon, as well as a Master in Economic and Social Sciences/Political Science from the University of Geneva. He also holds a post-graduate diploma from the University Institute of European Studies in Geneva.

Barroso has received numerous honorary distinctions from countries around the world. Among these, there are 35 decorations, including from Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Alan Jope

Provided by representatives of The Sanitation and Water for All partnership.

Alan was appointed Chief Executive Officer in January 2019. As CEO of Unilever, Alan is responsible for leading one of the world’s largest and most geographically diverse consumer goods businesses, with presence in 190 countries.

Alan joined Unilever in the UK in 1985. Before being appointed as CEO, he served as President of Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care Division from 2014. He also worked in leadership roles in North America for 14 years and Asia for 13 years. When leading Unilever's business in China, Alan doubled its size and laid important foundations for future success.

Alan recently joined the Global Leadership Council of Sanitation and Water for All, a growing global, intergovernmental, multi-stakeholder partnership for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, comprising 80 governments and their partners, such as the private sector, civil society, donors, academia, and UN agencies.

Alan is also a Vice Chair of the WBCSD Executive Committee, a member of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, and on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Goods Forum and FCLT Global (Focusing Capital on the Long Term). He is Chair of the Generation Unlimited Board of Trustees, a Vice Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance and a private sector Steering Committee member of the UN’s Generation Equality campaign.

Alan holds a BA Hons in Commerce from Edinburgh University and graduated from Harvard Business School’s General Management Program in 2001. Alan is married and has three adult children.