Past Chair & President Philip K. Russell Retires as Trustee, Assumes Advisory Role

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) today announced that Professor David Salisbury and Jeffrey P. Libson have been named to the Board of Trustees and Retired Major General Philip K. Russell will transition from Trustee to Special Advisor after more than 25 years of service to the organization.

Each with some 40 years of experience, Salisbury and Libson bring additional global immunization policy and legal expertise to Sabin’s board. Salisbury is a well-respected leader in immunization program policy, vaccine research and disease eradication and Libson is a corporate and transactional attorney to the life sciences community who has also provided legal expertise to a number of non-profit life science organizations.

“As Sabin continues its transformation, including an implementation of our new $10M Vaccine Acceptance & Demand Initiative, we will benefit from both David and Jeff’s extensive knowledge and expertise. With David’s background in shaping global approaches to immunization and Jeff’s knowledge of governance and strategic insights, we will have additional outstanding resources to draw from as we seek a future free from vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Axel Hoos, chair of the Sabin Board of Trustees. “Phil, our founding president, past board chair and long-time trustee, has been instrumental in positioning Sabin as an effective and important voice in global health issues and a leader in vaccine research, development and advocacy. We thank Phil for his dedication and for continuing to provide his expertise as a special advisor to the board.”

“Sabin’s board provides valuable expertise across vaccines, immunization and global health,” said Sabin’s Chief Executive Officer Amy Finan. “David and Jeff have world-class backgrounds and experience that will help Sabin as we continue to develop our vaccine programs and expand our global partnerships.

On behalf of the Sabin staff, we express our gratitude to Phil for over 25 years of service, and during these past few years, for helping to define and implement our new research and development strategy. I am incredibly appreciative to Phil for his guidance during my tenure as CEO.”

Salisbury was director of immunization at the Department of Health for the United Kingdom where he was responsible for the UK’s national immunization program. As a leader in the field of vaccines, he has received extensive recognition for his service. He was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the Queen’s Birthday Honors for his services in the field of immunization in 2001 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014. His current work includes leading the Global Polio Eradication Certification Commission, as well as focusing on the impact of vaccines in the decreasing the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Libson, in addition to his work as a practicing attorney at Cooley LLP serving public and private companies across the life sciences, volunteers his expertise and leadership to several non-profit entities. In the global health community, he served as Board Secretary and External General Counsel of Aeras, the former non-profit organization focused on researching and developing a tuberculosis vaccine. In support of the life sciences community, Mr. Libson served as a board member and secretary of Life Sciences Pennsylvania (formerly, Pennsylvania Bio) for more than 15 years and as counsel to the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers. He has also served as a trustee for a number of local non-profits in his hometown community in Philadelphia.

Russell contributed to the successful development of several vaccines important to the military and public health, including those of adenovirus, meningitis, and hepatitis A and B. As director of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, he led research on vaccines against dengue and malaria. He has received military awards including the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal. Russell has advised the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine, and has contributed his expertise to the Sabin Vaccine Institute for more than 25 years.

With the appointment of Libson and Salisbury and the retirement of Russell, Sabin’s board consists of 11 members including: Filip Dubovsky, Finan, Elizabeth Fox, Wendy Commins Holman, Hoos, Libson, Saad Omer, Regina Rabinovich, Salisbury, Jacqueline Shea and Peter L. Thoren. Learn more at

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About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute is a leading advocate for expanding vaccine access and uptake globally, advancing vaccine research and development, and amplifying vaccine knowledge and innovation. Unlocking the potential of vaccines through partnership, Sabin has built a robust ecosystem of funders, innovators, implementers, practitioners, policy makers and public stakeholders to advance its vision of a future free from preventable diseases. As a non-profit with more than two decades of experience, Sabin is committed to finding solutions that last and extending the full benefits of vaccines to all people, regardless of who they are or where they live. At Sabin, we believe in the power of vaccines to change the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, @SabinVaccine.

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