Douglas Jackson-Project C.U.R.E.

Douglas Jackson-Project C.U.R.E. | Lesoleilfoundation

Douglas Jackson-Project C.U.R.E.

Douglas Jackson, PhD, JD President/CEO

The man of the year


Douglas Jackson

The man who delivered Hope around the world!

Α year ago, I was fortunate enough to meet personally, for the first time in Athens Club, Greece, a man that in my mind has always been a legend, Mr Douglas Jackson, PhD, JD President/CEO of project C.U.R.E.

Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine together with Lifeline Greece organized a humanitarian dinner where the funds were collected in aid of the state Greek hospital. This charity event was organized with a great help of the Board of the directors and the president of Lifeline Hellas, Dr Zisis Boukouvalas. The humanitarian dinner was under the auspices and in the presence of Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, as well as Sissy Pavlopoulou- wife of the ex President of the Hellenic Republic, and Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, at the Athens Club to support the state hospitals in Greece.

On this occasion, Dr. Douglas Jackson, CEO of Project C.U.R.E. received a special recognition from HRH Crown Princess Katherine, for his humanitarian work and helping Serbia and Greece. Thanks to Dr. Jackson, Crown Princess Katherine’s Foundation brought 4 sterilizes in total amount more than 1,400,000 EUR for hospitals across the Serbia, as well as the container of medical equipment and medical supplies for Zemun hospital, worth more than 500,000 EUR. Also, thanks to Dr. Jackson, HRH Crown Princess Katherine brought two containers to “Elena Venizelou” hospital, “Pentelis” children’s hospital and “P. & A. Kyriakou” children ‘s hospital in Greece. The total donation of Project Cure to Greece through Lifeline Hellas was medical equipment worth $1,000,000 thanks to the donation of the transportation by Mrs. Gianna Aggelopoulou and Mrs. Alexandra Martinou.

I was expecting to meet a very serious man, without many interests outside of his own vision; but finally, I met a very interesting person, whose heart and brain collaborate harmoniously, who has many interests in life, who is open to new experiences, all around the world and has a vision that includes the entire humanity, involving the use of resources in favor of the less privileged. I really felt very excited about him and I would like to thank my beloved friends, Princess Katherine's son, David Andrews and his spouse, Dr Angie Margariti-Andrews who made sure I could meet with him to have a very interesting conversation during dinner.

During his career he had many awards for his actions and when I was in Monaco last January, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco awarded the Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy to Mr Douglas Jackson in recognition of the actions carried out through this humanitarian aid organisation based in Denver in the United States.

Let’s meet together one of the men who change the world for good. 

A.I: When I met you in Athens , I saw that you are a real proof that the intelligence can change the world for the better.. Finally what is the most important in life the IQ or the EQ and why?

D.J.: Thank you for your kind compliment. In my opinion, EQ is more important than IQ. The reason is that we can’t do much of anything by ourselves. We need other people, and being smart isn’t enough. We need to help each other. That means that we need to know how to work with other people and how to enlist their support. There are lots of stories of really smart people who fail to accomplish great things, and people who were of average intelligence who have changed the world.

A.I: Tell us about yourself and life before the vision of the C.U.R.E.

D.J.: When I was a young boy, I wanted to be a judge. I worked for a judge for a short time and learned that wasn’t a good avenue for me. So I practiced law as a corporate attorney. It was there I learned about mergers and acquisitions, private equity and hedge funds. That was exciting, so I went back to school to earn a PhD in Finance believing that the combination of the law degree and the finance training would be a sure ticket to success in business. In the meantime, my dad and mom had started their foundation, given their wealth away and started Project C.U.R.E. Watching their example, I felt called to give back from the first fruits of my life – a tithe of sorts – so I went to California as a finance professor thinking that was my contribution to others. When I grew tired of academics, I thought I would get started in finance. But my family needed help at Project C.U.R.E. We only had money for six months of salary at the time and it looked like a short commitment, but I have been leading Project C.U.R.E. since 1997. 

A.I: You told me that everything in your life started from an unexpected turns. How did you decide to involved with the charity?

D.J.: Joining my dad at Project C.U.R.E. was intended to add my business insights to help build the organization, and to free him up to travel to the recipient countries and conduct Needs Assessment studies. I don’t think that either one of us had any idea how large this was about to become. So we started with the basics of recruiting nurses and doctors to volunteer, creating systems for sorting and packing the supplies and fixing the equipment, creating lasting relationships with a pool of donors and building a network partners who could help expand the reach of Project C.U.R.E. both in the U.S. and abroad.

A.I: Tell us pls about the challenges that C.U.R.E. has in front of it every day.

D.J.: I like the analogy of “spinning plates in the air.” For us, we have to keep spinning three large plates. The first is the procurement of medical supplies and equipment. We can only donate what we have, so everything we do begins with those items. The second plate is a team of volunteers to help us collect, process and load the donations for distribution. And the third plate is fundraising to pay the expenses of our operations and shipping. In addition, there are other challenges. We run seven huge warehouses, have a fleet of trucks and all types of warehouse equipment. So an understanding of logistics and supply-chain is absolutely critical. We work hard at building a positive, effective culture with our team, both the 30 people on paid staff and the 30,000 volunteers. And I am working hard personally to be the best leader I can be, to be a motivating speaker and communicator and to set an example for others who will take the reins when I am done.

A.I: How do you pick where the medical supplies go?

D.J.: One of the most unique aspects of Project C.U.R.E. is that we wait for an invitation to help. Many other NGO organizations will strategize about locations for their work and then set a plan based on their priorities. By reversing that process, we prioritize our work around a request from a potential partner. A second distinctive factor is that we require an on-site Needs Assessment study before we donate any medical supplies or equipment. Those two steps go a long way in providing the best donations and services to the people who need them the most.

A.I: You have been delivering life-saving medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics throughout 130 countries. How you succeed in this? Tell us about your more exciting experience.

D.J.: Because we are responding to the needs of our partners, our work has taken us to some very unique places and we have enjoyed some remarkable experiences. My father and I have both been to North Korea, for example and have delivered medical equipment and supplies to that remote nation. I have travelled to Cuba nearly 20 times since 2007, which is unique for an American from the United States. But the thing that is universally the most exciting is the people that we have met. The world is full of incredibly interesting, wonderful women and men, and having the opportunity to spend time with them, share meals and visit their homes and communities has been the most rewarding aspect of this work. 

A.I: Why are C.U.R.E. Clinics special? Who are the people who work on them?
D.J.: Project C.U.R.E. didn’t start with a mission to send doctors and nurses to work abroad. There are a lot of medical missions, and we didn’t want to compete with people who were already doing great work. But as we delivered containers of medical relief, our overseas partners would ask, “Do you know of anyone who could come help us?” And our friends in the U.S. would often say, “Could I ever come with you to help?” So we simply created a program to match people who want to help with people who need help. The outcome was the C.U.R.E. Clinic program, and results have been incredible. By teaching Helping Babies Breathe for example, we have reduced infant mortality by a significant margin. Our nurses and doctors will often arrive into a community where they will see as many as 5,000 people in a single week, most of whom had little to no access to healthcare before we arrived. The goal is to help our partners deliver the best healthcare possible in some difficult situations, and to establish long lasting relationships between medical professionals. It’s working. 

A.I: What  do you really believe due to COVID-19.What did you make to support the confrontantion of it?

D.J.: This pandemic is like many before such as MERS, SARS and others. And it is very unlike anything we have seen before at the same time. It really is a fragile virus, but the results have been devastating. There is a lot of confusion and bad information which also makes it difficult to respond intelligently. For our part, we have been providing supplies and equipment to the doctors and nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight. In March, April and May, we provided nearly 10,000 cases of gloves, gowns, masks and sanitizer to local hospitals, in addition to equipment such as ventilators. Now we are working hard to provide essential materials to our partners around the world, and will be distributing over 20,000 COVID-19 beds in addition to other important healthcare items. 

A.I:  Tell us about the action you made for Greece in collaboration with the humanitarian organisation Life line of HRH Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia. 

D.J.: I had the privilege of meeting Princess Katherine several years ago. She had heard about the work of Project C.U.R.E. and called me when I was in Kenya. I agreed to come to Serbia to review the needs of the hospitals in Belgrade and some of the other towns. A couple weeks before my trip, she called and asked if I would also visit Greece to see if we could help with the economic difficulties and the refugee challenges. Since then, I have become a huge fan of Princess Katherine, Prince Alexander and the Lifeline movement. Because of her reaching out, we have delivered millions of dollars of medical equipment and supplies to both countries. And our work continues. 

A.I: Which of all these you make was your favourite one project?

D.J.: My favorite project is always the next one. There are still so many people to help.

A.I: Some people always believe that the biggest problems are always in the third world. But what country is the world off right now ?

D.J.: What  COVID-19 has taught us is that everyone is vulnerable regardless of whether they live in a developing country or not. The issue with the people in poor communities however is made worse because they don’t have the resources to protect themselves or to access treatment once they are sick or injured. So what might be a simple solution to people with money becomes a tragedy in those settings. Those sad outcomes then complicate the person’s ability to work, so the problem just gets worse. When people are healthy, a universe of opportunities becomes available. I believe that every situation in life is either getting better or worse. Nothing stays fixed. So it is important that we exercise our abilities and resources to make things better – again, regardless of where we live. 

A.I: What was the worst thing you saw in your career in CURE and what was the best?

D.J.: I ‘ve been in some pretty desperate situations caused by disease, natural disasters, war and poverty. We were active in Africa during the height of the AIDS crisis, and I remember watching people packed together two or three in a small bed. Most of them died. The results of the Rwandan genocide are still mind-numbing in the extent of the cruelty that people could do to each other. I remember working during the “Green Famine” in Ethiopia and trying to help little children restart their bodies after going weeks without proper food. Earthquakes and floods. There are lots of tough stories.

Certainly the most rewarding moments are when those ocean-freight containers arrive and are unloaded. People sing and dance. Some people cry. Everyone smiles. And then a few months or so later, we get photos and hear stories about how we changed history for a group of people. 

My best day is when a partner tells us, “Because of your help, we have been able to revolutionize our healthcare. We don’t need you anymore.” That’s the day we have a party. 


A.I: What is the most important project you made especially for kids?

D.J.: We have done a lot of intervention to save the lives of mommies and their children. Saving Mothers Giving Life was a project that I helped to chair, and we were able to reduce maternal mortality by about 50% in communities in Zambia, Uganda and Nigeria. Likewise our work on Helping Babies Breathe and Essential Care for Every Baby have saved the lives of thousands of children. In addition, we created the Kits for Kids program so that children in the U.S. can help kids around the world. Specifically, we provide small nylon bags to children here with a shopping list for the twenty most important things that moms need for their children such as band-aids, ointments, fever reducers, dental care and things like that. They bring the completed bags back to Project C.U.R.E. and we distribute them to our partners overseas. It’s fun and important, and helps to teach kids that helping other people is something they like to do!

A.I: Can you tell us about your next plans?

D.J.: We will continue to expand Project C.U.R.E. by opening new distribution centers across the U.S., creating more programs to help people who need healthcare and deliver more medical relief to the sick and dying around the world. We are opening our seventh 50,000 square foot warehouse in Kansas City this year, and planning more teaching and training opportunities through our C.U.R.E. Clinics and C.U.R.E. College programs.

A.I: Would you like to be an author and write about the experiences you had all these years?

D.J.: Actually, my dad is the author. I have a book, but it’s still in my head. Soon, I would like to take some time and write down the lessons that I have learned growing this organization. 

A.I: When I asked you in Athens how do you feel you told me that you are the ”happiest man in the world”. How do you believe people can find the way to be happy in this life?

D.J.: My father’s book is called, The Happiest Man in the World. What I have come to know is this. Every person has a purpose. It is the reason that we are on this earth. When that purpose is aligned with the mission of helping other people, the result is passion. It is when we are operating in that triad that we find happiness.

A.I:  A quote that explains everything about you.

D.J.: Albert Schweitzer said “I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve others.”

A.I:  A wish about the world this strange period. 

D.J.: I wish we would wake up and it was all a bad dream – the pandemics, the natural disasters, the protests and riots. Our world needs to get back to making things more wonderful and beautiful.

Dr. Douglas Jackson serves as the President/CEO of Project C.U.R.E. Each week, Project C.U.R.E. delivers approximately four semi-truck loads of donated medical supplies and equipment to desperately needy people around the world. Since 1987, Project C.U.R.E. has delivered equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics in over 135 countries. Project C.U.R.E. is consistently recognized with the highest rankings from Guidestar and Charity Navigator, and was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 charities in America.

In addition to delivering approximately 200 forty-foot containers each year through the C.U.R.E. Cargo program, the C.U.R.E. Clinics send teams of medical professionals to assist partner hospitals and clinics. Project C.U.R.E. also provides hundreds of hours of training through the Helping Babies Breathe and Helping Mothers Survive curriculum. Thousands of dollars of medical supplies are carried by traveling doctors and nurses in the form of C.U.R.E. Kits. More than 25,000 people volunteer with Project C.U.R.E. every year, making the organization one of the most efficient and effective grass-roots organizations in the country.

In addition to his work at Project C.U.R.E., Dr. Jackson has taught at the university level in the disciplines of finance, investments, leadership development, legal and international issues. He is a frequent speaker and lecturer to colleges and universities, conferences such as TEDx, as well as civic, corporate and community organizations.

Dr. Jackson is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, and is a past President of the Denver Rotary Club #31. He serves on the Board of Directors for InterAction, the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, World Denver, The Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law at the University of Denver, the World Trade Center Denver, and the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professionals at Regis University. He is a member of the National Who’s Who, Registry #57689, and a graduate of leadership program LEAD San Diego.

Dr. Jackson received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Healthcare from the American Red Cross, the Civis Princeps recognition from Regis University, the 5280 Magazine Philanthropist of the Year, and accepted the CoBiz “Best Places to Work” and Colorado Ethics in Business Award on behalf of the team at Project C.U.R.E. In January 2020, Prince Albert of Monaco honored Dr. Jackson with the Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy. In May 2020, Dr. Jackson was inducted into Titan100 recognizing 100 Top CEOs in Colorado.

Douglas graduated magna cum laude from Northwest Nazarene University in 1982, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. In 1985, he earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the study of law. In 1992, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and econometrics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, authoring a dissertation on leveraged buyouts and secondary public offerings. Douglas is a member of the Alpha Delta Sigma and the Beta Gamma Sigma national honor societies, and recently completed Executive Education at the Stanford University School of Business.

Following his admission to the bar, Douglas administered the legal affairs for the international agricultural firm of CTB, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company. Upon the completion of his Ph.D., Douglas opened the Fermanian Business Center at Point Loma University in San Diego, California. As Executive Director, Douglas developed and implemented numerous programs and seminars to advance business opportunities for college students and business professionals in the San Diego community and abroad. In 1995, Dr. Jackson assumed the role of Provost at Colorado Christian University. In this capacity, he oversaw the academic, financial, operational, advancement and student life functions of the university.

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