Bill Roedy has pursued a lifetime of global service in both the private and public sectors. His multiple careers have revolved around Defense, Diplomacy and Development, dedicating his life to uniting cultures, freedom for all and improving wellbeing worldwide.
Doing Good Is Good For Business
Business has many reasons to do something good:
They can do it for their customers, which will help sales.
They can also do it for their employees, which will make them feel better, ultimately leading to higher productivity.
If you do not believe in the first two reasons, do it for your brand which will make the overall business stronger.
Upon graduation from West Point in 1970 as a 2nd Lieutenant, Bill qualified as an Airborne Ranger, volunteering for duty in Vietnam. Following a year in combat operations along the DMZ, he then commanded three Nuclear Missile bases in Italy as part of NATO during the Cold War. For his distinguished military service, he was awarded the Bronze Star, Air Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry (with Silver Star) and Meritorious Service Medal.
After the military, and graduating from Harvard Business School, Bill embarked on a 33-year career in media. He joined HBO in 1979, as part of a new television cable revolution and rose to Vice President, overseeing offices in L.A and Philadelphia, negotiating distribution and marketing partnerships and launching HBO across the US. He was later honored as a Cable TV Pioneer.
Moving to London in 1989, he led the start-up MTV Europe, bringing a new form of television to viewers on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Over the next 22 years, he built from scratch a global operation of 200 channels, 20 brands (including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central), in 200 countries, reaching an audience of 2 Billion people, launching the most channels in the history of television. His strategy centered on 1) creative, relentless distribution, 2) groundbreaking content that was reflective and respectful of local cultures and 3) social responsibility, highlighted by the largest multi-media initiative to fight the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Through diplomacy and entrepreneurship, he successfully navigated the complexity of diverse cultures, regulatory and geopolitical challenges, while at the same time pioneering a strategy of localization with global scale. He was recognized in 2015 with his induction into the Cable Hall of Fame.
During this time, he was appointed the first Ambassador of UNAIDS, addressing the UN General Assembly on several occasions regarding the pandemic.
He was a founding member and Chair of the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV/AIDS, galvanizing the business response to AIDS, TB and Malaria. In 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed him founding chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative, negotiating airtime commitments to fight AIDS.
He is the Founding Chair of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, which provides young people with resources at the grassroots level in combination with MTV’s award-winning HIV/AIDS programming.
In 2011, Bill expanded on his HIV/AIDS work by building a portfolio of Global Health initiatives, reaching the far corners of the world. All have added COVID-19 to their missions.
He is currently the Chair of amfAR, joining in 2010, in its scientific research for a cure to AIDS. amfAR has invested over $500m in prevention, treatment and care, helping to save lives affected by HIV/AIDS. Its recent support includes groundbreaking gene therapy and multiple clinical trials in the road to find a cure.
In parallel, he was appointed the first Envoy for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), founded by Bill and Melinda Gates, rising to Vice Chair in 2018. GAVI has provided multiple vaccinations to over 700 million children, saving millions of lives and improving overall health care systems.
He works with the Global Health Corps (founded by Barbara Bush) and the Seed Global Health (founded by Vanessa Kerry), bringing health care executives and medical staff to Africa. He also works with Goldie Hawn with her MindUp initiative, targeting children in primary schools.
Geopolitically, he supports Seeds of Peace, is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and advises the State Department. He has also been appointed a Churchill Fellow, delivering the Green lecture known as Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech. His education roles include the boards of the American School of London (20 years) and the Berlin School of Creative leadership. His business roles include Senior Advisor to two private equity firms, Lionsgate Motion Pictures and several tech start-ups.
His awards include an Emmy Founders Award, the Leadership Business Award presented by US President Bill Clinton, amfAR’s Award of Courage, Doctors of the World Leadership Award and the UN Correspondents Association Global Citizen of the Year Award presented by UN Secretary-General Ban–Ki-Moon. He has also given numerous commencement addresses with two honorary doctorate degrees. In 2020 he was selected as a ‘Distinguished Graduate of West Point’.
He is an Exec Producer of the film documentary ‘Battle of amfAR’, and the author of ‘What Makes Business Rock’, a CNBC Best Book of summer 2011.
He and his wife, Alexandra are parents to four children, living in a converted church in London.