NBA Legend and Philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo Joins CDC Foundation Board
Dikembe Mutombo has been elected to the board of directors of the CDC Foundation. Mutombo is the chairman and president of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, which he established in 1997 to improve the health, education and quality of life for the people in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A graduate of Georgetown University, with dual degrees in linguistics and diplomacy, Mutombo played professional basketball for 18 years before retiring from the Houston Rockets in 2009. Over the course of his basketball career, he played for six teams and earned a reputation as one of the best shot-blockers in league history.
“Dikembe is a global humanitarian and his passion for helping others is prevalent in all aspects of his life,” said Charles Stokes, president and CEO, CDC Foundation. “We are truly fortunate to have this all-star leader on our team helping us advance CDC’s life-saving work.”
In 2007 the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation opened the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital—a 170-bed, $29 million hospital located in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo—in memory of his mother. Closer to home, Mutombo devotes much of his time to charitable causes, which include Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital Christmas toy drive, Hosea Feed the Hungry, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and making personal appearances at local schools to encourage academic excellence and motivate students to think globally.
For the past 12 years, Mutombo has been one of the leaders of Basketball Without Borders/Africa, the NBA and the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) global basketball development and community outreach program that unites young African basketball players from across the continent to promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness.
In addition to his new role with the CDC Foundation, Mutombo serves on the boards of the National Constitution Center, Opportunity International, Special Olympics International and on the National Board for U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In 2009, NBA Commissioner David Stern appointed Mutombo to the newly-created position of Global Ambassador.
The first appointed Youth Emissary for the United Nations Development Program, Mutombo previously served as a spokesperson for CARE and on the Advisory Board for the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health. He also served as an advisor and consultant to Freeport-McMoRan and as an advisor to Hewlett-Packard.
Mutombo has been named ABC’s Person of the Week, Essence Magazine’s 2001 Achiever, and Sporting News’ No. 1 Good Guy. He has also been featured in many media outlets for his humanitarian efforts, including Europe's TIME magazine, Sports Illustrated for Kids, The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Houston Chronicle.
Additionally, Mutombo has received numerous honors and awards including the 32nd Annual Thurman Munson Award, the Goodermote Humanitarian Award, the President's Service Award from President Clinton, Big Brothers Big Sisters New York City Achievement in Public Service Award, the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, and the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award. Mutombo is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta 2014.