Claremont, Calif. (April 12, 2012) — Pitzer College has named alumnus Daniel Berman ’84 the 2012 Distinguished Alumni. President Laura Skandera Trombley and Alumni Board President Gilbert V. Gonzales ’03 will present Berman with the Ninth Annual Distinguished Alumni Award 2012 at a special dinner during the College’s Alumni Reunion Weekend on Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at Pitzer College.
Berman is the deputy director of the Access to Essential Medicines Campaign with Doctors Without Borders, also known as Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF, an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people excluded from health care and affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters. In his role with Doctors Without Borders, Berman works to increase access to vaccines and to galvanize the creation of new vaccines suited for practical use in developing countries.
Berman helped launch Doctors Without Borders’ Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in 1999. One of the campaign’s first priorities was to support the generic production of drug cocktails that would vastly improve AIDS treatment in parts of Africa, Asia and South America. Berman was also part of a global coalition of activists that fought for the generic production and international financing of AIDS treatment.
During a period of leave from Doctors Without Borders, Berman served as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s regional office in Cairo, Egypt. The project he worked on explored a unique collaboration between the medical community, government and AIDS activists that increased AIDS treatment in Morocco.
Berman, who majored in political studies at Pitzer, spent a semester abroad with Pitzer in Nepal, where he witnessed firsthand the challenges of life in a country that ranks among the poorest in the world. His experiences in Nepal steered him toward a career focused on addressing inequalities in access to healthcare.
While working in pharmaceutical marketing and communications in New York after graduate school, Berman saw new drug treatments transform AIDS from a death sentence to a treatable chronic illness. Berman also worked as the news director at the academic medical centers of Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco.
itzer College’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who embody the unique qualities and character of a Pitzer education. Recipients’ achievements reflect an unwavering commitment to the greater good, exemplifying some aspect of Pitzer’s core values of social responsibility, intercultural understanding and environmental sensitivity. It is the highest honor the College bestows upon a graduate.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is selected by a committee, chaired by the President of the Alumni Association and made up of alumni, faculty, staff, students, the current Alumni Reunion Chair and the previous year’s honoree.