Back to Global Conversations 3.12: Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts

Melissa Biggs Bradley sits down with Every Mother Counts founder and model Christy Turlington Burns to talk about the nonprofit work she’s doing around the world and the impact you can have when you go the extra mile to connect with people when you travel. They also discuss the benefits of a peripatetic life, how travel has changed since the 70s, 80s and 90s, the places she’s been (hint: everywhere) and the ones on her wish list (from Colombia to Central Africa) and much more.

Episode Guide

Having worked in luxury magazines and media and travel for almost 30 years now, Melissa has met, among others, a lot of very beautiful and very famous people.  But today’s guest, Christy Turlington Burns, is much more than just a pretty — in her case a gorgeous — face. 

She modeled from age 14 until she was 25, at which point when she was one of the most famous models in the world — she quit — to go to college. Where she studied comparative literature and Eastern philosophy. It was a long way from the runways that she, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford dominated.

After college, as sometimes happens in life, Christy found her next calling through a near-tragedy. In 2003, after the birth of her first child, she experienced postpartum hemorrhaging. Had she not been in a top New York hospital, with access to its birthing center, she might well have died. In the years since Christy has become a formidable advocate for safe pregnancy and childbirth, directing documentaries on PPH and eventually launching Every Mother Counts, her non-profit devoted to lowering the incidences of preventable pregnancy-related deaths around the world– a number that is shockingly high, even in the US.

The former supermodel now has a master’s degree in public health from Columbia, she’s on the Harvard Medical School Global Health Council, she’s written books on yoga, she’s been a partner in skincare and clothing companies — oh, and she also runs marathons. There’s even more that may or may not surprise you — including her lifelong love of travel.

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