UNICEF, of course, is the United Nations Children's Fund. It's supported by contributions from member organizations around the world. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF raises money and awareness in the United States to support UNICEF's critical lifesaving work worldwide.
My job at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF was to build up the celebrity relations department, plan special events, and work as part of the public relations team to promote the U.S. Fund's and UNICEF's major initiatives and reports. UNICEF had traditionally had a very successful relationship with celebrities who worked very hard as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors. Past Goodwill Ambassadors whom we all know and love include the glamorous and caring Audrey Hepburn and the extraordinary actor Peter Ustinov. Current and longtime Goodwill Ambassadors include Roger Moore and Harry Belafonte, who are still hard at work traveling the world raising awareness for UNICEF.
But now the U.S. Fund was looking to expand the program. They wanted to bring in younger celebrities and well-known people of all colors and backgrounds. They also wanted to make better use of the Ambassadors they had and find new ways that celebrities could help promote UNICEF's mission.