Connecting employees with NGOs for impactful 3-month assignments

Our Merck Richard T. Clark Fellowship for Global Health program helps solve the world’s most pressing health challenges

September 8, 2021

Share this article

article hero thumbnail

Each year, approximately 30 employees from around the world are selected to participate in our Fellowship program, a three-month, corporate pro bono program to support the efforts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

This unique opportunity allows our Fellows to use their skills and talents to help make a difference in the lives of others. Whether they’re looking to engage with patients more closely, achieve hands-on experience or help address a health challenge that has impacted them personally, each Fellow, along with the NGO partners and the company, benefits deeply from their assignments.

“The Fellows’ commitment to take on these significant global health challenges is profound.”

Carmen Villar

vice president, social business innovation

“Their personal journey is only part of this experience – the learnings the Fellows bring back contribute to our company’s future success and our ability to deliver innovative health solutions to patients and customers around the world.”

In 2021, due to the pandemic, our Fellowship program went fully virtual for the first time, allowing us to support NGO partners while maintaining employee safety. This format expanded the opportunity to even more potential applicants, especially those who might not be able to leave home for this three-month leadership development experience. Our 2021 Fellows had a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight regarding the challenges of a world emerging from — and in some places still struggling with — a global pandemic.

fellows collage on zoom

Our impact

From 2012 to 2021, 251 Fellows from 39 countries have worked with 40 NGO partners. The program has touched thousands of lives in underserved communities around the world by developing and executing creative and sustainable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing health problems.

251 fellows
39 countries
40 NGO partners

Meet past and present Fellows who stepped away from their day jobs to make a difference for people across the globe.

Nan Wang
Meet Nan Wang

Cohort 2019 – China

Pooja Jambunathan
Meet Pooja Jambunathan

Cohort 2019 – USA

Julia Froehlich
Meet Julia Froehlich

Cohort 2019 – Germany

Meet Cristian Martinez Olivares

Cohort 2021 – Argentina

Mmamotsa Makhene
Meet Mmamotsa Makhene

Cohort 2021 – South Africa

Meet Joyce Domingo

Cohort 2021 – Philippines

Meet Elmy den Dulk-Gerardts

Cohort 2021 – The Netherlands

A spotlight on this year’s NGO partners