The Spelman College Board of Trustees has unanimously voted today to appoint Helene Gayle, MD its 11th president. Spelman College has a long, proud history of excellence and global leadership in the education of women of African descent and is committed to addressing racial inequities in education ensuring equitable opportunities for students of all economic backgrounds. Dr. Gayle’s presidency will begin on July 1, 2022.
For almost a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. A public health physician with expertise in economic development, humanitarian and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. She has received 18 honorary degrees and, over the past 20 years, has held affiliate faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
She serves on public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, ONE Campaign, and Economic Club of Chicago. She chairs the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health Association, National Academy of Medicine, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics. She has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and wealth inequity.