Our shared love of travel is what keeps us all looking forward. That’s why I’m happy to share with you some of what Royal Caribbean has been working on over the past several months. As you can imagine, their team has been focused on all aspects regarding a successful return to service with special emphasis on safety, security, and health. In this process, they immediately recognized the extreme complexity of the situation, so they have assembled a blue-ribbon team of experts to advise them on the right approach.
This advisory panel consists of 11 experts, including physicians, scientists, and public health specialists—to name a few—who’ve been providing guidance in raising the health and safety standards to entirely new levels. With the valuable knowledge of these experts, Royal Caribbean is doing everything possible to ensure that the proper steps are being implemented as they address the future of cruising.
It’s tempting to talk about all the individual components of how things will change; however, they are still defining all those enhancements with the guidance of these expert advisors. This important work will not be rushed, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the leadership at Royal Caribbean along with their team of experts continues to work on it around the clock.
I look forward to sharing more with you about this healthy return to service soon. In the meantime, I invite you to look below where you’ll find detailed information on each member of the advisory panel and learn more about Royal Caribbean’s determination in exceeding the expectations of travel within our every changing world.
Royal Caribbean is resilient, and they will come back strong—not by mimicking what they used to do but by innovating as they have always done. As your partner in travel, we are fully committed to keeping you abreast of information as it becomes available to us. We appreciate your love to travel and want to remind you that it is YOU that makes our cruises special. Please take a look at the All Christian Cruises adventures that await in 2021
Governor Michael Leavitt
Leavitt Partners, Founder, Former Governor of Utah and Secretary Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb
Resident Fellow at AEI, Partner at NEA, Contributor at CNBC and Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Helene Gayle MD, MPH
Dr. Gayle is CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s leading community foundations. Prior to this role, and for almost a decade, she was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian and health issues, Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the CDC, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues. She also launched the McKinsey Social Initiative (now McKinsey.org), a nonprofit that builds partnerships for social impact. Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, the ONE Campaign, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Economic Club of Chicago.
Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH
Dr. Julie L. Gerberding is Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer for Merck, leading all aspects of strategic communications, global public policy, population health and patient engagement. A former head of the CDC and a world-renowned public health expert, Dr. Gerberding is deeply committed to achieving sustainable global health impact and tackling some of the most challenging health priorities of our time. This includes addressing critical issues such as affordable access to important therapies, advocating for health policies that promote and sustain innovation of new medicines and vaccines, and improving maternal mortality through the Merck for Mothers program — a public-private partnership helping to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal to reduce maternal mortality. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Gerberding served as the Director of the CDC from 2002-2009 and was the first female to hold that position. While at the agency, she led more than 40 emergency responses against crises such as anthrax, SARS, bird flu, food-borne outbreaks and natural disasters.
Steven Hinrichs, MD
Dr. Steven Hinrichs is Professor and Chair in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and the Director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), and Director of the University of Nebraska Center for Biosecurity. In his position as laboratory director he has been responsible for the development of a statewide program for the rapid identification of biological agents of mass destruction. He is principal investigator of multiple national awards from the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the CDC and the Department of Defense for the development of an outreach program to extend training and expertise in the early recognition of biological warfare agents.
Michael Osterholm, MD, PhD
Michael Osterholm is one of the nation’s foremost experts in public health, infectious disease and biosecurity. As the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, he is an international leader on the world’s preparedness for pandemics. He has led numerous investigations into internationally important disease outbreaks, including foodborne diseases, hepatitis B in health care settings, and HIV infection in healthcare workers, and he is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Defense and the CDC. From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Osterholm served as a special advisor to the secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. From June 2018 through May 2019, he served as a Science Envoy for Health Security on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. He has also been appointed to the National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity and the World Economic Forum’s Working Group on Pandemics, among other prominent advisory positions.
Stephen Ostroff, MD
Dr. Ostroff brings years of experience in public health, having served at high level positions at the Food and Drug Administration and CDC. He was the Acting Commissioner of the FDA from 2015-16, and before that served as the FDA’s chief scientist. Ostroff joined the FDA in 2013 as chief medical officer in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and senior public health advisor to FDA’s Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Prior to that he served as deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at the CDC, where he was also acting director of CDC’s Select Agent Program. While at CDC he focused on emerging infectious diseases, food safety, and coordination of complex outbreak response. He retired from the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral (Assistant Surgeon General). Ostroff was also the director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and acting physician general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and has consulted internationally on public health projects in South Asia and Latin America.
William Rutala, PhD, MS, MPH
Dr. Rutala has experience medically managing a variety of diseases and extensive experience studying epidemiology and virology, particularly managing outbreaks and emerging pathogens. Dr. Rutala’s research interests are the etiology and prevention of healthcare-associated infections with a special focus on disinfection and sterilization of reusable medical and surgical devices. Other areas of active research include contribution of the hospital environment to disease transmission, hand hygiene, preventing transmission of infectious agents including multiply-drug resistant organisms, prevention of healthcare-associated Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, investigation of healthcare-associated outbreaks, and new and emerging pathogens in healthcare.
Kate Walsh, PhD
Kate Walsh is the Dean at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University and E.M. Statler Professor. A professor of management, she is a leader in education for the global hospitality industry; and a renowned expert in organizational service design, leadership and career development, as well as the impact of strategic human capital investments. In addition, Dean Walsh holds extensive industry knowledge from serving as the former director of training and development for Nikko Hotels International, corporate training manager for the former Bristol Hotels, and senior auditor for Loews Corporation. She is also a former New York State Certified Public Accountant. Since the beginning of her administration as dean, Dean Walsh has focused on positioning the school for the future of education. This includes undertaking a comprehensive renewal of the graduate and undergraduate curricula, developing the school’s online global presence, identifying international partners for master-level program development, and providing thought-leadership for the hospitality industry, most notably through the creation of industry research partnerships for faculty, fostering new initiatives through the school’s six centers and institutes, and providing faculty-developed resources to guide the industry.