Get to know Martha Rebour, executive director of Shot@Life. As executive director, Martha serves as the lead for campaign strategy and implementation, external partner relations, and fundraising activities of the campaign. Read more about Martha’s passion for Shot@Life’s mission and all about her innovative work leading our team!
How long have you been with Shot@Life?
I joined Shot@Life in June 2014, 4 years ago.
What has been your favorite moment since joining the team?
Hmm, that is a hard question it is hard to choose just one as I have had many great moments.
One of my favorite moments recently was at our Champion Summit in February. Every year we bring in about 120 volunteers or Champions from across the country and have sessions where they learn the latest in global childhood vaccines and then travel to Capitol Hill where they have a chance to meet with their Congressional offices and show their support of funding for these programs. During our summit this year we were fortunate to have Dr. Orin Levine from the Gates Foundation, speak. Dr. Levine is a great speaker and is very passionate about the power of vaccines to save lives. It was a great moment when from the podium Dr. Levine thanked all of Shot@Life Champions for the work they do and told them how impactful their work is, especially is these times of all U.S. foreign investments being scrutinized.
What do you think the biggest challenge is for vaccine advocacy?
Education and awareness – when people learn the facts it is easy to understand what a good investment vaccines are. Unfortunately, there is a lot of noise out there, so we need to be even better at getting across the facts and the human stories for people to understand what an impact vaccines make in the lives of people around the world every single day.
What do you wish people knew about Shot@Life/Vaccines/Advocacy?
Few measures in public health can compare with the impact of vaccines. Vaccinations have reduced disease, disability, and death from a variety of infectious diseases. Vaccines not only provide individual protection for those persons who are vaccinated, they can also provide community protection by reducing the spread of disease within a population. Hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in programs around global childhood vaccines every year by the U.S. government. Without advocacy, these critical funds are at risk. Advocacy is exercising your democratic right to contact your members of Congress and let them know about issues that are important to you. Congressional offices enjoy visits from constituents and are very interested to hear what you have to say.
What excites you most about your work?
First I am fortunate to work with a great group of very dedicated individuals so in part their passion helps fuel me. Next, I am fueled by the fact that my work in some small way contributes to helping mothers to protect their children and helping children grow up healthy and thrive.
Why did you join the Shot@Life team?
I was fortunate to have worked for more than 15 years at Discovery Channel earlier in my career and as exciting and satisfying as that was I was looking to be part of something that was bigger and that had a positive impact on the world and was especially interested in global health. I started following UN Foundation on social media and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time when there was an opening at Shot@Life. I was also fortunate that I had a boss who was willing to take a chance on m although I didn’t fit the typical profile for this position.
Do you have any hidden talents or fun facts that our champions may not know about you?
I am pretty good at card games, was trained by my grandmother, and play in a monthly poker game in my neighborhood.