The founding of the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, in 1993, was the product of the remarkable partnership of the Countess Albina du Boisrouvray and Dr. Jonathan Mann. Countess du Boisrouvray had heard about Mann’s work at the World Health Organization. “To me he was a warrior fighting against AIDS at large,” she wrote, “standing for health and human rights, committed to rescue the discriminated, the most destitute, the most vulnerable ones.” Shortly before they met, Mann had read a news account about a “mysterious countess” who had given a grant to educate health workers in developing countries about pediatric AIDS. “I remember thinking that it was wonderful that such angels existed,” Mann said.
In 1991, one of Albina du Boisrouvray’s charities funded the Global AIDS Policy Coalition at the Harvard School of Public Health, which had Jonathan Mann as its director. A year later, her foundation announced that it was giving $20 million, its largest gift ever, to establish the FXB Center and to pay for construction of the François-Xavier Bagnoud building in Boston, and the François-Xavier Bagnoud Professorship in Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.