During a major address on November 8, 2011 on HIV/AIDS at the National Institutes of Health, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Ellen DeGeneres has been named as a Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness.
In this role, Ms. DeGeneres will use her celebrity platform to raise awareness about the global fight against AIDS. In a letter to Ms. DeGeneres, Secretary Clinton stated, “By lending us your energy, compassion, and star power to serve as our Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness, your words will encourage Americans in joining you to make their voices heard in our campaign to achieve an AIDS-free generation. The enormous platform of your television show and your social media channels will enable you to reach millions of people with the strong and hopeful message that we can win this fight.”
"I’m honored to have been chosen by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Special Envoy for Global AIDS awareness. The fight against AIDS is something that has always been close to my heart. And I’m happy that I can use my platform to educate people and spread hope. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what “envoy” means," said talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
Ambassador Eric Goosby, head of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), said “At this historic moment in our global fight against AIDS, we are thrilled that we have someone like Ellen DeGeneres on our team to raise awareness that we are on the path to beating this devastating disease. We at PEPFAR look forward to working with her to deliver a positive and hopeful message that we can work together to put an end to AIDS.”
Through “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Ms. DeGeneres reaches millions of people every day, including 8 million followers on Twitter and 5.8 million Facebook fans. On and off screen, the Emmy award-winning entertainer is involved in several humanitarian causes including anti-bullying; animal rescue and rehabilitation; and breast cancer awareness. Ellen has previously worked with the advocacy organization ONE to raise awareness about the fight against AIDS.