Can the Private Sector Make a Difference?

Thursday, February 16 | 1–2 p.m.

Instructional Building
72 East Concord Street
Hiebert Lounge


Deborah Dugan

Chief Executive Officer, (RED)

“My goal at (RED) is to move fast and innovate. Traditionally, it has been the business sector that owned the market on product and service innovation. (RED) uses a disruptive approach in philanthropy to make it simple for everyone to play an active role in ending AIDS.”

In 2011, Deborah Dugan joined (RED) as the chief executive officer and has solidified its identity both as a nonprofit and as a brand—one which is purposefully provocative and impact obsessed. Partners include Apple, Beats by Dre, The Coca-Cola Company, Salesforce, Bank of America, and Latin America’s Claro and Telcel networks, among many others. To date, (RED) has raised more than $465 million for the Global Fund and impacted the lives of more than 70 million people.

Under Dugan’s leadership, (RED) has continued to innovate its use of social and digital media to drive engagement and impact. In 2011 (RED) became the first nonprofit to reach 1 million followers on both Facebook and Twitter. In 2014, (RED) partnered with Bank of America and U2 on a Super Bowl campaign, raising more than $3.1 million for the Global Fund, and in 2015, (RED) became the first-ever nonprofit to launch a Global Filter on Snapchat, raising $3 million in a day.

Prior to (RED), Dugan was president of Disney Publishing Worldwide and also served as senior advisor to the Tribeca Enterprises Board. She is chair of The Moth, an award-winning storytelling organization. Previously, she spent eight years as executive vice president at EMI/Capitol Records, and began her career as a mergers and acquisition attorney on Wall Street.

Dugan has been featured in Forbes magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” issue on social entrepreneurism, and also in Elle’s “Top Women to Help Change the World.”

In 2015, Dugan represented (RED) at the UNGA panel, “The Path Towards Universal Health Coverage,” where she joined Bill Gates and global health leaders in Tokyo for an international dialogue on universal health coverage, and in September 2016 she joined heads of state and government leaders to pledge a further $100 million to the Global Fund over the next three years.