The 2016 class of the Merck Fellowship for Global Health reflects our commitment to making a difference in the world.

From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, Merck is committed to improving health and well-being around the world.

The Merck Fellowship for Global Health is one way Merck is helping answer the global health needs of the underserved. Merck employees who participate in the program are called Richard T. Clark Fellows (RTC Fellows) in honor of retired Chairman and CEO Richard T. Clark and his philosophy of passion, purpose and commitment to corporate responsibility.

Launched in 2012, the program offers Merck employees opportunities to share their skills with people around the world. As many as 30 Fellows are selected each year; the expertise of the applicants is matched to the needs of the partner organizations. During the three-month assignments, the Fellows are embedded within a non-profit organization in the field.


It’s fitting that the seventh class of the Merck Fellowship for Global Health program recently held its onboarding meetings in Johannesburg, South Africa – home of Nelson Mandela, the late statesman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was renowned for unifying diverse groups. The 29 Fellows represent 12 countries and will support eight non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in Africa, South America and North America. Their three-month assignments started in August.


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The diversity of this year’s Fellows is a testament to one of our current goals for the program, which is to increase the level of employee representation—particularly geographic—to better mirror the company’s demographics, says Theresa McCoy, who leads the Fellowship program in the Office of Corporate Responsibility. “We’re really excited to have participants from our Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region as well as Asia Pacific. In fact, 45 percent of the Fellows are from outside the United States.”


Each Fellowship assignment is supported by a cross-functional team of three or four former Fellows. Together, these Fellows form professional networks that reach not only across the organization but across cultural and geographic differences, too.

“Being a Fellow was a life-altering opportunity to view global health from a completely different vantage point, to meet individuals who make a difference in the lives of the most disadvantaged, and to meet individuals who have resilience and joy in the face of adversity,” says Reva Raghupathi, a Fellowship alumna, who is a mentor for the current class. “The lessons learned around self-awareness, empathy, urgency and humanity will forever be a part of me.”


The Fellowship is a field-based corporate pro bono program that embeds highly qualified Merck employees into NGOs. During their assignments, the RTC Fellows use their talents and skills to provide hands-on assistance with projects that aid people around the globe by helping these NGOs improve the quality of their programs, increase operational effectiveness and expand their geographic scope. Projects range from strengthening health care delivery systems to capacity building in the area of drug counterfeit analysis.


Corporate responsibility is at the heart of our company’s mission to discover, develop and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives, and it underscores our commitment to developing and rewarding our employees, protecting the environment, and operating with the highest standards of ethics and transparency.

Learn more about the Fellowship program and our other Corporate Responsibility initiatives.