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Statement from José Luis Castro, President and CEO, Vital Strategies on launch of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s  (USAID) Clean Air Catalyst

March 18, 2021 – Air pollution is responsible for the death of over six million people every year. To help tackle the world’s largest environmental health risk, Vital Strategies is proud to announce today our partnership with the Clean Air Catalyst (CAC), a new flagship consortium of the USAID led by World Resources Institute and Environmental Defense Fund. CAC will work in cities around the world with local scientists, business and governments to identify the root causes of pollution and then develop creative ways to use policy, media engagement and public and private partnerships to accelerate clean air action.  

Generating momentum to urgently address poor air quality will require substantial attention from the public health sector. As a member of the consortium, Vital Strategies will lead efforts to inform the health sector about air pollution, find opportunities to mainstream air quality into national policies and mobilize public health professionals to advocate for clean air action.  

We applaud USAID for recognizing the importance and need for a global effort focused on improving air quality and its often underrecognized impacts on health, climate, and economic development. Alongside USAID, the global consortium and local coalitions, we look forward to working toward a world with clean air for all.

To learn more about the Clean Air Catalyst, please visit: 

About José Luis Castro 

José Luis Castro is the President & CEO of Vital Strategies, where he has led a rapid expansion of Vital Strategies’ portfolio, working with governments to tackle the world’s leading killers, primarily in low-and middle-income countries. The organization now reaches into 73 countries and has touched the lives of more than 2 billion people. 

About Vital Strategies 

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in more than 70 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible. To find out more, please visit or Twitter @VitalStrat.