AudiologyOnline Phone: 800-753-2160
Starkey - August 2018

Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation, named First Goodwill Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health


Ambassadorship announced during high-level event on hearing health at United Nations headquarters with President Bill Clinton

MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 15, 2017) – The International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development (IFPSD), accredited by the United Nations, today named Bill Austin Goodwill Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health during a high-level event on hearing health at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The event, at which President Bill Clinton spoke, addressed the need for increased national funding, philanthropic support and international foreign aid for ear and hearing health. Mr. Austin, a global philanthropist and founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation, is the first person to be honored with the title.

With his new position, Mr. Austin will work to achieve his life-long mission of aiding and supporting people with hearing loss around the globe. He will also strengthen relationships with community leaders and lawmakers worldwide to increase the accessibility of hearing care for all.

“I am humbled and proud to be honored by the International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development for my life’s work,” said Mr. Austin. “As Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health, I will continue to advocate for the countless millions of children and adults who suffer from hearing loss and their families. Working closely with Starkey Hearing Foundation and key policy makers in communities around the world, I look forward to enhancing access of hearing care through service delivery, training, capacity building, and research and policy advocacy.”

"I have watched Bill Austin give children and their families the gift of hearing for a long time. Thanks to him, a lot of people have begun to look for answers instead of anger, for empowerment instead of resentment, and for cooperation instead of controversy,” said President Bill Clinton. "This is about way more than hearing. This is about what we want the world of the 21st century to look like,” he added. 

“For the past 16 years, we have worked diligently in many countries around the world, especially war-torn countries,” said Founder and President of the International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development Sally Kader, who presented the award to Mr. Austin. “I was honored witnessing first-hand the miracle of children hearing for first time. The look on their faces when they first heard sound brought tears to my eyes. I am so proud of Mr. Austin’s accomplishments and our continued partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation.”

Starkey Hearing Foundation is committed to working to accomplish the Sustainable Development Goals, which serve as an action plan for global development focused on people, planet and prosperity. Through Mr. Austin’s tireless work with Starkey Hearing Foundation over the past 33 years, hearing aids and hearing health services have been provided to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, built on sustainable hearing programs in low and middle-income countries, and changed the global scope of hearing healthcare as we know it.             

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation, a public charity co-founded by William F. Austin and Tani Austin, gives the gift of hearing to people in need in the U.S. and around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that improve lives and promote understanding. Starkey Hearing Foundation focuses on hearing health missions, hearing loss education and hearing aid recycling. Connect with Starkey Hearing Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, or visit

2019 NIHL Series | 4 advanced-level live webinars | June 5, 12, 19, + 26 | 12:00 pm EDT | Guest Editor: Brian J. Fligor, ScD, PA