Rick A. Bright is a 1996 initiate of the Auburn University Montgomery Circle. He is the 2022 recipient of the Omicron Delta Kappa Pillars of Leadership Award in Academics and Research.
After becoming a member of the Society, Rick was named his circle’s Leader of the Year in 1997. He eventually enrolled at Emory University, where he received his Ph.D. in immunology and molecular pathogenesis (virology). Rick has extensive experience in global public health, having served with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and scientific advisory boards for the World Health Organization. He has also held positions in the private sector, making significant advancements in vaccine and therapeutic developments for influenza viruses with pandemic potential and new vaccine, treatment, and testing technologies. Several organizations have recognized Rick for his ethical leadership through the COVID-19 crisis. He currently leads the Rockefeller Foundation’s collaborative efforts with other organizations to create a pandemic prevention institute. The institute’s goal is to stop future pandemics within the first 100 days after the earliest identification of a disease outbreak. Bright spoke at the 2021 O∆K National Leadership Conference, provided remarks during one of the 2020-21 virtual initiation ceremonies, and endowed an O∆K scholarship supporting collegiate members pursuing graduate education in the life and data sciences.