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Date: October 20, 2004

The world’s most famous rock star is coming to Oregon this Fall – but not to sing. The charismatic front man for the Irish rock band U2 will open the 2004-2005 International Speaker Series on October 20, 2004. He will speak about Africa and the need for concerted high-level action on third world debt, HIV/AIDS, and trade policies.

Bono, co-founder of DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) and long-time social activist, is a champion for a greater worldwide response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and poverty devastating Africa. He is putting pressure on rich governments to increase resources for Africa and improve policies that impact African countries. Bono’s DATA organization also works to improve democracy, accountability and transparency.

Bono has met with such world leaders as President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kofi Annan, Pope John Paul II, and President Jacques Chirac, among others.

The New York Times cited Bono’s work as one of the reasons why President Bush promised to increase U.S. aid by nearly $30 billion over five years to fight AIDS in Africa. In 2004, this promise resulted in the largest increase in U.S. foreign assistance in 40 years.

He has addressed the World Economic Forum, World Association of Newspaper Editors, Harvard University, the United Nations, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, churches, schools, and governments around the world.

Bono’s success with U2, who have sold over 120 million albums worldwide, has made him one of the world’s biggest rock stars.

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