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In Thailand, anti-AIDS activist Mechai Viravaidya is known for getting not only Santas and tollbooth operators to hand out condoms, but traffic police as well, in a campaign he called “Cops and Rubbers.” Viravaidya, aka “Mr. Condom,” has been battling AIDS for three decades and recently was awarded $1 million by the Gates Foundation for his work.

As a visiting scholar at Harvard in the late 1980s, Viravaidya was frustrated by academia’s propensity for talk over action. Befriending HBS students Curtis Clawson, Jim Kralik, and John Galantic (all MBA ’90), he invited them to Thailand to help get its business community involved in rural economic development to battle poverty and prostitution.

Clawson, who remains close to Viravaidya and describes him as “the most selfless person I’ve ever known,” is now chairman and CEO of Hayes Lemmerz International, a world leader in the manufacture of wheel rims for truck and cars. Of his association with Viravaidya, Clawson told the Boston Globe (May 29, 2007), “It’s one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. He’s such a great ideas man.”

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1990, Section G
Class of MBA 1990, Section G
Class of MBA 1990, Section G

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