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Ambassador Randall L. Tobias
Former United States Global AIDS Coordinator

Ambassador Randall L. Tobias

Randy Tobias was born March 20, 1942 and grew up in Remington, Indiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1964 and joined AT&T’s Indiana Bell Telephone Company subsidiary. Shortly thereafter, he served 2 years on active duty as an artillery officer assigned to the faculty at the United States Army Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Following his military service, he returned to AT&T in Indiana. In 1977, he was transferred by AT&T to Illinois Bell Telephone Company in Chicago, where he became vice president of the company.

In 1981, he was moved to AT&T’s global headquarters in New Jersey, where he later ran AT&T’s worldwide long distance and network businesses. He played a major role in helping to lead AT&T through the difficult period following the breakup of the Bell System in 1984, serving as AT&T’s Vice Chairman from 1986 until 1993 and, additionally, as Chairman and CEO of AT&T International from 1991 until 1993.

In 1993, he left AT&T to become Chairman, President and CEO of Eli Lilly and Company. Under Tobias’s leadership, the company experienced a dramatic turnaround and enjoyed one of the most successful periods in its history. On January 1, 1999, upon his retirement from the company, he was named Chairman Emeritus. After stepping down from his post at Lilly, he focused his attention on a number of business, community and philanthropic interests and on teaching and writing. His book on leadership lessons learned, Put The Moose On The Table, written with his son, Todd Tobias, was published in early 2003.

On July 2, 2003, President Bush announced his intent to nominate Tobias to serve as the first United States Global AIDS Coordinator with the rank of Ambassador. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 3, 2003 and sworn in on October 6, 2003. Ambassador Tobias is responsible for overseeing all U.S. international HIV/AIDS assistance and coordinating the efforts of the various agencies and departments of the United States Government that deliver it, and reports directly to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Among his honors, Tobias was named Pharmaceutical Industry CEO of the Year by the Wall Street Transcript in 1995, and CEO of the Year in 1996 by Working Mother magazine. In 1997, he was named one of the "Top Twenty-Five Managers of the Year" by Business Week, Magazine. He was also named the "Norman Vincent Peale Humanitarian of the Year" in 1997. He received the "Positive Ally Award" from the National Association of People with AIDS in 2005.

Tobias has served on a number of corporate boards, including AT&T, Eli Lilly and Company, Chemical Bank of New York, Agilent Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Knight-Ridder, Inc., and ConocoPhillips Petroleum Company. He also served for 12 years as a trustee of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and 13 years as a trustee of Duke University, including 3 years as chair of the board.

Tobias has been awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees by Indiana University, Wabash College, Butler University, Gallaudet University, and Ball State University, and an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He has also been awarded the Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IUPUI) Urban University Medal.