© UNICEF/Guillaume Bonn
© UNICEF/Guillaume Bonn
Clay Aiken

Singer Clay Aiken launched his career after becoming the first-runner-up on the second season of American Idol in 2003. Since then, he has sold more than six million copies worldwide of his four albums, launched nine tours, and co-authored a New York Times best-selling book. In 2008, he made his Broadway debut in the role of Sir Robin in the Tony Award-winning musical, Monty Python's Spamalot. In 2012, Clay appeared on the 12th season of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

Clay Aiken was appointed a UNICEF Ambassador in 2004 and traveled with UNICEF to Afghanistan, Indonesia, Uganda, Mexico, Kenya, and Somalia, a country where conflict and hunger have created one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. As a dedicated UNICEF Ambassador, Clay continually encouraged friends, family, and fans to donate to the U.S. Fund and support UNICEF through speeches, social networks, and blogs.


UNICEF's Emergency Relief in the Horn of Africa

In the summer of 2011, Horn of Africa countries including Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti began experiencing their worst drought in 60 years, and the UN declared famine in regions of southern Somalia. Clay supported UNICEF's emergency relief efforts in the Horn of Africa via social and traditional media, including a blog post on The Huffington Post about his personal experience in Somalia. This post brought much needed attention to the "most severe humanitarian crisis in the world."

UNICEF and Education

A former teacher, Clay has participated in several initiatives surrounding UNICEF's education programs, and in turn he has uniquely targeted children in the U.S. to educate them about UNICEF's lifesaving work. In July 2010, Clay was the Key Note Speaker at the 67th annual Kiwanis Key Club International Convention, where he thanked students for supporting UNICEF throughout the years. Additionally, Clay was the 2005 National Spokesperson for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and, in the weeks following the campaign, he toured several U.S. schools to thank students for their fundraising initiatives

"Everyone deserves the best start in life, which is what UNICEF is working to provide the world's most vulnerable children," Clay said. "Education is essential to a child's development. I hope that as an Ambassador I can encourage people to join UNICEF's mission, to make education a reality for children throughout the world."