Eric Porterfield

Director of Global Health Communications, UN Foundation

eric porterfield

Eric Porterfield is the Director of Global Health Communications at the United Nations Foundation. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he did a year of service with Americorps and worked as a research assistant at Duke University. With the desire to focus on more international issues and journalism, Eric moved to London to study international affairs at Webster University. Following graduate school, he worked at Good Morning America for ABC News. After living and working in New York, Eric left television to join the international services division of the American Red Cross to cover their work in Asia. After covering international disasters for more than four years, he joined the UN Foundation in 2010.

Fun fact about Eric Porterfield:  He has an identical twin brother.

Blog Posts by Eric Porterfield

Girls demand education in Malawi
As we arrived at a Mangochi district secondary school, after driving for what seemed like hours down a dusty, bumpy red clay road in one of the most rural and beautiful parts of eastern Malawi, a group of about 40 girls greeted us enthusiastically and repeatedly sang “well-a-come, well-a-come, you are most well-a-come.”
December 17, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan: How the United Nations is responding and how you can help
Following the devastating destruction by Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) that hit the Philippines on November 8, the United Nations, the Government of the Philippines, and other humanitarian organizations are mounting a massive coordinated humanitarian response to provide families with immediate lifesaving aid.
November 10, 2013

5 things you should know about tuberculosis
Nearly 20 years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared tuberculosis (TB) a global public health emergency. Today, according to WHO’s 2013 Global TB report, much progress has been made toward the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG 6) of reducing the spread of TB, although there is much more work to be done.
October 22, 2013

Meeting a Real-life Superhero
Yesterday, I got to meet a legend in the vaccine world – Dr. Samuel Katz. You probably don’t recognize his name, but he’s the reason you (and millions of others) didn’t have measles as a child. Fifty years ago, Dr. Samuel Katz and Dr. John Enders’ work to develop a vaccine against measles finally paid off and the vaccine was licensed for use in the U.S. and globally.
September 11, 2013

Bill Gates Goes Bold on Measurement
This year at the United Nations Foundation we have been focusing on the idea of “Going Bold”, inspired largely by our founder and chairman Ted Turner’s $1 billion gift to work toward the goals of the UN. We cannot have this conversation without including the work and impact that Bill Gates has made through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
January 30, 2013

Q&A: How India Stopped Polio
Every year from about 2006 to 2009 India was faced with over 500 polio cases. But, in 2009, some new initiatives were introduced that looked at narrowing in on population segments that were being missed.
January 11, 2013

From Brooklyn to the Congo
Sophie Blackall, a renowned illustrator – check out her recent artwork in the NYC Subway – recently returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo(checkout her travel journal), where she got a first-hand view of children’s health with the Measles and Rubella Initiative.
September 20, 2012

Meet Nala
Every year, more than 7 million children die from preventable diseases before their fifth birthday. With so many statistics like this, it becomes hard to wrap our minds around what that means. It means that every day, not one, but thousands, of mothers lose a child to a disease that existing, simple solutions could prevent. A bed net could protect a child from malaria, a vaccine could protect him or her from pneumonia or measles.
June 14, 2012

The 65th World Health Assembly
The Sixty-fifth session of the World Health Assembly is took place in Geneva from May 21–26, 2012. At this session, the Health Assembly is discussing a number of public health issues such as universal health coverage, noncommunicable diseases, nutrition, the Millennium Development Goals, adolescent pregnancy, polio eradication, research and development, International Health Regulations, and the WHO reform process.
May 30, 2012

World TB Day: Kingdom in the Sky
Every year hundreds of thousands of children will become sick with tuberculosis and tens of thousands will die. Often, TB goes undetected in children and infants and young children are at special risk of having severe, often fatal forms of TB, such as TB meningitis, which can leave them blind, deaf, paralyzed or mentally disabled.
March 23, 2012

Polio: One down, three to go
Today, polio is one step closer to being a page in our children’s history books. The World Health Organization has officially removed India from the polio endemic list, leaving only Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. On January 13, we marked the one-year anniversary of no new cases of polio in India. This is major milestone for the country, which had the highest number of polio cases in 2009.
March 1, 2012

Rebuilding Haiti: Overcoming obstacles, promising progress
Two years after the January 12, 2010 earthquake, I found a sense of optimism on my visit to Haiti. While many pre- and post-earthquake challenges remain for Haitians, I noticed several encouraging achievements that have happened since the last time I was there in June of 2010. In addition to progress already made, I found a sense that the best is yet to come.
January 12, 2012