Ray Chambers

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Chambers at the 2011 Time 100 gala

Raymond G. Chambers (born August 7, 1942) currently serves as United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for Malaria. He was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2008 as Special Envoy for Malaria.[1] and in March 2013 given the additional role as Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs.[2] In 2016, his role was changed and Chambers became the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Health in Agenda 2030 and for Malaria.

Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, he attended Rutgers–Newark where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and was awarded an MBA from Seton Hall University in 1968.[3]


Private equity[edit]

Chambers made his fortune as the former Chairman of Wesray Capital Corporation, a private equity holding company which he co-founded with William E. Simon, the former United States Secretary of the Treasury. The "WES" in the firm's name represented Simon's initials and "RAY" was for Chamber's first name.[4] Their first big coup was the leveraged buyout of Gibson Greeting Cards from RCA in 1981 for $80 million, with each partner contributing $330,000 and the balance paid for with loans; After taking Gibson public in 1984, each partner walked away with a profit exceeding $70 million.[5]

After Simon ended his active involvement in the firm's management, Chambers was responsible for deals including the 1985 purchase of Avis Rent a Car System, which was sold 14 months later to an employee stock ownership plan for $1.75 billion along with the sale of other Avis assets for $674 million, netting a profit of $740 million on a $10 million capital outlay.[6]

Chambers and Wesray were early investors in buyout firm Vestar Capital Partners, investing in the first Vestar fund in 1988.[7] Chambers also sits on the advisory board of AlpInvest Partners, a private equity investment management firm.[8]

Involvement in Newark[edit]

Chambers has played an active role in revitalizing Newark. He has contributed to the Newark Boys and Girls Club, which he had belonged to as a child in the 1950s. He has funded college educations for hundreds of Newark public school students.

Chambers was the founding Chairman of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, helping obtain contributions from local corporations and contributing his own money, with the goal of creating a cultural center for Newark modeled after new York City's Lincoln Center and Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

As a partner in YankeeNets, Chambers played a critical role in bringing the New Jersey Devils to what is now the Prudential Center, with YankeeNets contributing $105 million to construct the publicly owned facility. Chambers' name was engraved on the Stanley Cup as President of 2003 New Jersey Devils [3] Chambers was an early supporter of Cory Booker, helping to convince him that he had a future in politics.[9]

Other associations[edit]

He is also a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. Prior to joining the United Nations, he has been actively involved in helping at-risk youth. He funded the Points of Light Foundation and co-founded America's Promise with Colin Powell, the Alliance for Youth. He is also the co-founder of the MENTOR / National Mentoring Partnership and served as Chairman of the Millennium Promise Alliance. With Peter Chernin, he co-founded Malaria No More and served as its co-chairman until being named UN Special Envoy for Malaria. In 2002, he received the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership.[10]

In April, 2011 he was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.[11]


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