Ms. Turlington Burns was a panelist for Forum’s discussions on Saving Lives that Give Life.
With nearly thirty years at the forefront of the fashion industry, having graced every magazine cover from Vogue to Time, Christy Turlington Burns has established a diverse career as a model, writer, entrepreneur, spokesperson, advocate, and filmmaker. Philanthropy and service have long been a part of Christy’s personal and professional mission to make a lasting impact on the world. As the daughter of a Central American mother, she has supported numerous efforts to rebuild post-war El Salvador since the early 1990’s. After losing her father to lung cancer in 1997, Christy’s activism evolved to preventative healthcare, including smoking prevention and cessation- in which she collaborated on several public health service campaigns and launched an award-winning website, SmokingIsUgly.com in 2002. In 2005, Christy became an advocate for maternal health for both CARE and (RED). In 2010, she completed and debuted her documentary film, “No Woman, No Cry,” about the global state of maternal health, at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on Mother’s Day 2011.
Concurrent with the debut of her documentary, Christy launched Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide. Christy currently serves on the Harvard Medical School Global Health Council and as an advisor to the Harvard School of Public Health Board of Dean’s Advisors, Mother’s Day Every Day and the White Ribbon Alliance. She has contributed writings to Marie Claire Magazine, Yoga Journal and Teen Vogue along with contributions to the Huffington Post, BlogHer, MomsRising, Canada’s Globe and Mail and the UK’s Evening Standard. She has guest corresponded on NBC’s Today Show, which included reporting on the status of girl’s education in Afghanistan and an interview with H.H. the Dalai Lama. Christy is also an avid yogi and merged her love of the practice and writing to author her first book, Living Yoga: Creating A Life Practice (Hyperion 2002). She also founded two successful lifestyle brands; Sundãri, an Ayurvedic skincare line and nuala, a yoga inspired apparel and accessories line.
She recently completed her first ING NYC Marathon, running with Team Every Mother Counts to raise awareness for maternal and child health. Christy graduated cum laude from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Studies where she earned a BA in Comparative Religion and Eastern Philosophy. She is currently pursuing a MPH AT Columbia University’s Mailman School in New York City, where she lives with her husband — filmmaker Edward Burns — and their two children.