High-Level UN Event on Ear & Hearing Health: A Vehicle for Peace & Sustainable Development

Williams F. Austin named Goodwill Global Ambassador at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Sept 14, 2017

The International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development (IFPSD), accredited by the United Nations, named William F. Austin Goodwill Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health during a high-level event on hearing at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 14.

The event, at which President Bill Clinton spoke, addressed the need for increased national funding, philanthropic support and international foreign aid for ear and hearing health. The event also included a panel where Bill Clinton, Mr. Austin, Paloma Duran, Director of Sustainable Development Goals Fund and Barbara Bush, Founder, Global Health Corps. Sally Kader, President of the International Federation for Peace and Sustainable Development moderated.

With his new position, Mr. Austin will continue working to achieve his lifelong mission of aiding and supporting people with hearing loss around the globe. He will also strengthen relationships with community leaders and lawmakers worldwide to increase the accessibility of hearing car e for all.

“I am humbled and proud to be honored by the International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development for my life’s work,” said Mr. Austin. “As Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health, I will continue to advocate for the countless millions of children and adults who suffer from hearing loss. Working closely with Starkey Hearing Foundation and key policy makers in communities around the world, I look forward to enhancing access to hearing care through service delivery, training, capacity building, and research and policy advocacy.”

President Bill Clinton commented, “I have watched Bill Austin give children and their families the gift of hearing for a long time. Thanks to him, a lot of people have begun to look for answers instead of anger, for empowerment instead of resentment, and for cooperation instead of controversy. This is about way more than hearing. This is about what we want the world of the 21st century to look like.”

“For the past 16 years, we have worked diligently in many countries around the world, especially war-torn countries,” said Founder and President of the International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development Sally Kader, who presented the award to Mr. Austin. “I was honored witnessing firsthand the miracle of children hearing for first time. The look on their faces when they first heard sound brought tears to my eyes. I am so proud of Mr. Austin’s accomplishments and our continued partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation.”

Starkey Hearing Foundation is committed to working to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals, which serve as an action plan for global development focused on people, planet and prosperity. Through Mr. Austin’s tireless work with Starkey Hearing Foundation over the past 33 years, hearing aids and hearing health services have been provided to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, built on sustainable hearing programs in low and middle-income countries, and changed the global scope of hearing healthcare as we know it.

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