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UGA alumna Alison Moore: The red nose knows

By Eric Rangus/UGA Today

When you can get Paul Rudd to stick a puffy red ball on the tip of his nose for your organization’s website, you’ve got some serious influence.

Of course, it’s not like Alison Moore reaches out in person to the army of celebrities, politicians, influencers, and everyday folks who celebrate the worldwide phenomenon of Red Nose Day each spring. But through the years, the effect of those red noses worn to support children and young people facing poverty has been remarkable.

“I think the red nose is a symbol that connotes something good,” says Moore AB ’92, CEO of Comic Relief US, the New York-based nonprofit behind Red Nose Day, which takes place this year on May 23.

“It evokes laughter,” she says. “It breaks down walls and barriers. It’s a shared experience. Our world needs laughter and community more than ever.”

Comic Relief US is the stateside headquarters of Comic Relief, the UK-based charity that created Red Nose Day as well as a number of other efforts aimed at combatting poverty in 1985. Since its launch in 2015, Comic Relief US has raised more than $436 million and positively impacted over 35 million children in the U.S. and around the world. Funds raised support programs that ensure children are safe, healthy, educated, and empowered.

At its core, Red Nose Day is an annual campaign, with one big day of promotion in May. The campaign lights up social media with red nose-wearing celebs and grassroots fundraising across all platforms (including a new digital red nose that offers multiple ways to give). It culminates with special Red Nose Day programming on NBC between May 21 and May 23.

I developed a curiosity about how things work, where you pull your inspiration from, and how you analyze situations. That kind of education can be applied anywhere.” — Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief US, describing her study of political science at the University of Georgia

Moore joined Comic Relief US in 2019, but her journey to that role began much earlier.

She studied political science at the University of Georgia just as the Cold War was ending, and literal and figurative walls were falling around the world.

Moore credits her time at UGA, and specifically the influence of political science faculty members like Loch Johnson and Han Park, for giving her the tools to navigate the turbulent time.

“It really opened up my mind,” Moore says of her experience. “I developed a curiosity about how things work, where you pull your inspiration from, and how you analyze situations. That kind of education can be applied anywhere.”

After graduating, she began a distinguished career in marketing and branding that included stints at Turner Broadcasting, HBO, NBCUniversal, and Condé Nast. At Comic Relief US, Moore leads a professional staff of 32, plus additional consultant teams who help with campaign efforts.

“My role is to kind of open doors and facilitate movement so we can get the work done. I do what I can to build a culture where we all feel good about what we’re doing,” she says. “I’m not interested in just doing a job just to do it. I have to find that satisfaction and inspiration at the same time.”

And that includes networking at the highest level. Moore has attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, for three years running. While there, she collaborates with some of the world’s largest foundations, such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Global Fund. In the U.S., she always puts Red Nose Day front and center whether across social platforms or at the Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. It is all part of the job.

“It’s a frenzy for us, but every piece of frenzy means something’s happening,” she says.

“I love it.”

History of Red Nose Day

Comic Relief was founded in the UK by Richard Curtis, the beloved writer & director, after visiting Ethiopia during the 1985 famine. Comic Relief launched in the United States in 2015 with a vision of a just world free from poverty and a mission to drive positive change through the power of entertainment.

To date, the nonprofit has raised over $436 million, $370 million of which was raised through its signature Red Nose Day campaign. Millions of people from all over the country show their support for Red Nose Day each year, as it brings people together in a fun and powerful way. It serves as a galvanizing force by sparking moments of joy, levity, and fun to help make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and young people facing poverty.

 For more information about Red Nose Day in the US, visit rednoseday.org

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