Helene Gayle

Helene D. Gayle

Board Member

Dr. Helene D. Gayle is president of Spelman College, the No. 1 historically Black college or university in the country. A global leader in the education of women of African descent, Spelman College is dedicated to academic excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the intellectual, creative, ethical, and leadership development of its students.

Previously, Helene was president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. Under her leadership, the Trust adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region. An internationally recognized expert on health and humanitarian issues, as well as global and domestic economic development, Helene spent nearly a decade as president and CEO of the international humanitarian organization CARE.

Prior to that, Helene served as the director of the HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she spent 20 years focusing primarily on HIV/AIDS prevention and global health.

Helene serves on several public company and nonprofit boards, including the Coca-Cola Company, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, and ONE. 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.

A recipient of numerous awards, Helene has authored articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and wealth inequity. She has received 18 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.

Helene earned a B.A. in psychology from Barnard College, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University.

This is an organization that believes all life has equal value. Continuing to lead with that and be consistent about that principle is vital.
Helene D. Gayle
Board Member
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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