Dr. Brilliant was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and top 20 Scientists and Thinkers (2008); UN Global Leadership Award (2008); TED Prize (2006); Peacemaker Award (2005); International Public Health Hero (2004); and two honorary doctorates. In 2009, The Final Inch, the documentary about polio eradication which Dr. Brilliant inspired and was funded by Google.org, was nominated for an Oscar.

The University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems in the School of Natural Resources and Environment will present the 10th annual Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability March 16 at 3:30 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium on U of M’s campus. This annual free Lecture Series focuses on critical issues of sustainability and honors Peter M. Wege for his many outstanding contributions to the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems and to the environmental field.

Previous internationally recognized speakers have addressed vital sustainability challenges facing society in the 21st century, including global climate change, freshwater scarcity, and the loss of biodiversity.

Dr. Larry Brilliant, MPH, MD, a University of Michigan alumnus and president of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, will deliver this year’s Peter M. Wege Lecture. The 3:30 speech will be followed by a public reception in Rackham’s lobby. After serving three years as a Google VP and the first executive director of Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm, Dr. Brilliant joined Skoll Global Threats Fund.

He is a medical doctor and MPH, board-certified in preventive medicine. For ten years Dr. Brilliant lived and worked in India and was one of a four-person United Nations’ team that led the successful World Health Organization smallpox-eradication program in India and South Asia. He later founded the Seva Foundation that has given sight back to nearly 3 million people worldwide through its work in eliminating preventable and curable blindness.

Dr. Brilliant has been a professor of international policy and epidemiology at the University of Michigan and written two books plus dozens of scientific articles on infectious diseases, blindness, and international health policy. He’s volunteered as a physician during disasters, including the Asian Tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia and the Bihar Floods. After the anthrax attacks in the United States in 2001, he volunteered as a first responder for the Centers for Disease Control’s bio-terrorism effort.