Spotlight On: Helene Gayle, MD


Photo Courtesy of Pacific Northwest Magazine

Born: 1955 in Buffalo, NY
In a Few Words: Humanitarian,expert in HIV/AIDS research and prevention

Occupation: President and CEO of CARE USA (one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations), chair of the Obama Administration’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS

Education: BA in psychology – Barnard College, MPH – Johns Hopkins University, MD – University of Pennsylvania

Accolades: “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” Newsweek’s top 10 “Women in Leadership” and the Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch,” as well as one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” and the “100 Most Influential Georgians”

Family: Born the third of five children to mother, Marietta, and father, Jacob. Marietta was a psychiatric social worker and Jacob was an entrepreneur. Helene never married.

Career Highlights: Led international AIDS research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Director of the HIV, TB, and Reproductive Health division at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (including managing a $1.5 billion portfolio of programs), U.S. Public Health Service (retired as a Rear Admiral/Assistant Surgeon General), consultant to international agencies (including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and UNAID).

Blogging: Check out some of her posts on Change.org including this post on how empowering women is the best way to end poverty.

Quotable: “I don’t regret having placed a high priority on a career that enables me to make a contribution to humankind. At some point there may be reasons why I would want to shift those priorities. In the meantime…my life [is] very full.” Ebony Magazine

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Filed under Phenomenal Women, Wellness

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