AviationCARES: COVID-19 Supply Chain Resiliency Roundtable

The aviation and logistics sectors have played a critical role in the humanitarian responses to the global pandemic, and specifically in prioritizing the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines and life-saving medical supplies during a year of unprecedented supply chain constraints.

One year after Airlink first convened aviation actors to talk about the challenges of distributing these critical vaccines worldwide, the organization is now bringing together supply chain and corporate social responsibility experts to discuss how they’ve achieved successful delivery programs of critical supplies needed to fight COVID-19 during the second year of the pandemic.

Panelists will highlight the good practices that have helped their companies achieve effective cross-sector collaboration to vaccinate the world. The session will also provide an opportunity to explore critical success factors in the response to future variants and how aviation is laying the foundation for post-pandemic recovery 2022 and beyond.

AviationCARES: COVID-19 Supply Chain Resiliency Roundtable

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

10:00-11:00AM ET (GMT -5)


Steve Smith, Airlink’s President & CEO, will moderate the panel. He will be joined by high-level representatives from partner organizations who have deep experience in the commercial aviation sector and its role in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Picture of Brendan Sullivan, Global Head of Cargo, IATA

Brendan Sullivan, Global Head of Cargo, IATA

Brendan Sullivan has worked in air cargo for 20 years including spending 14 years at IATA. Since January, he has been acting Global Head of Cargo alongside his role as Head of Cargo Operations and E-Commerce.

Recent achievements include leading two key IATA initiatives:

The One Source platform: This provides comprehensive information on infrastructure capabilities critical to taking advantage of special cargo and e-commerce activities.

The IATA FACE Campaign: This builds the next generation of air cargo leadership by attracting, developing, and retaining young talent within the air cargo industry. Over 200 cargo professionals are engaged in the initiative.

Sullivan began his career in air cargo at Air Canada in 2000, where he gained frontline operational experience and developed expertise in dangerous goods handling that facilitated his transition to IATA in 2007.

Picture of Nicole Lee, Director of Social Impact Optimization, Global Community Engagement, United Airlines
Nicole Lee, Director of Social Impact Optimization, Global Community Engagement, United Airlines

Nicole currently serve as Director of Social Impact Optimization, Global Community Engagement for United Airlines in Chicago, IL. She has been with the company for 12 years and served the entire time in this functional area. In Nicole's current role, she and her team are accountable for all of the company's global portfolio nonprofit partnerships. Their remit is to fully optimize every relationship ensuring they deliver value to the community and to the company.

During Nicole's tenure at United, she has also been responsible for marketing, communications, and story-telling for the group. Additionally, she has developed customer facing charitable initiatives including cause marketing, humanitarian aid and disaster response including large scale fundraising both internally and externally.

Nicole has worked in the field of corporate social responsibility for 20+ years having served as a Business Advisor on BP’s Global Social Investment team, as Program Officer for the BP Foundation, and as an independent consultant prior to joining United officially in 2008.

Picture of Thomas Ellmann, Vice President Clinical Trials, Logistics & Public Sector, Deutsche Post DHL
Thomas Ellmann, Vice President Clinical Trials, Logistics & Public Sector, Deutsche Post DHL

Thomas has been an instrumental figure in the DHL Life Sciences & Healthcare sector for over 14 years.

As a Global Sector Team member, Thomas is now leading the cross-divisional development of clinical trials logistics offering. He recently co-authored the white paper “Pandemic Resilience” and is central to business development efforts in DHL’s Global Task Force to support distribution readiness for global vaccine manufacturers, governments, and NGOs. Thomas is also leading the company’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy.

Previously, Thomas was Sales Leader for EMEA, including Emerging Markets in the Middle East and Africa, where he had responsibility for an extensive portfolio of pharmaceutical and medical devices companies. Before joining the DPDHL Group, Thomas spent several years in FMCG and specialty chemicals industries, where he held roles in supply chain and customer services. Thomas holds a Master’s degree in Physics from the WWU Münster, Germany.