Monday, April 25, 2022
by Editorial Team
The Spelman College Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to appoint Helene Gayle, MD its 11th president.
Dr. Gayle currently serves as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. Under her leadership, the Trust grew its assets from roughly $2.8B to $4.7 billion and adopted a strategic plan aimed at closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap. A public health leader and humanitarian, Dr. Gayle spent nearly a decade as president and CEO of Atlanta-based CARE, one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, with approximately 11,000 staff and poverty fighting programs that reached 82 million people in 2010 in 87 countries. Under Dr. Gayle’s leadership, CARE reinforced its commitment to empowering girls and women to bring lasting change to communities living in poverty.
“Our success for more than a century and a half has been built by an engaged student body and alumnae, committed faculty and staff, and a history of exemplary presidents” said Rosalind G. Brewer, Board Chair of Spelman College. “I’m excited about Dr. Gayle’s appointment and confident that her demonstrated ability to address complex issues in communities of color many of which involve the strength of Black females and her success factors, coupled with her commitment to equity, will further build on Spelman’s legacy and propel the College into the future.”
Dr. Gayle is an epidemiologist who also spent 20 years at the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS and at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with a focus on global public health. Dr. Gayle holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Psychology from Barnard College -Columbia University a M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and a M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Dr. Gayle serves on several public and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Organon & Co, a women’s health care company, Palo Alto Networks a cybersecurity company, and the Brookings Institution. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“I am an honored and look forward to being a part of a long, proud legacy committed to the education of women of African descent. This is a moment where HBCUs are once again being recognized for the importance that they bring to every sector of this country,” said Dr. Gayle. “Spelman has a strong history of changing lives for people who will change lives. The idea of giving back to generations of students through cutting-edge academic programs and facilities, increasing college affordability, raising financial aid support and increasing the endowment, and developing new career pathways and opportunities is what invigorates and excites me about this new role.”
Dr. Gayle’s presidency will begin on July 1, 2022.