Spelman College announced today that the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) has awarded President Helene Gayle, M.D., MPH, with the 2023 Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award, in recognition of her leadership in philanthropy and efforts to advance gender and racial equity.
The Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award recognizes philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, change agents, fundraisers and researchers who have moved women’s philanthropy forward and demonstrated significant impact on the field. The award has been presented triennially since 2008 and this year WPI will present the award during its 2023 Symposium: All In, All Rise on March 28-29 in Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Gayle is the 11th president of Spelman College, a historically Black women’s liberal arts college. An ardent believer in education’s power to unlock opportunity, Dr. Gayle is committed to cultivating women’s academic excellence and career success. Before joining Spelman College, she served as 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.
For nearly a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of the leading international humanitarian organization CARE, where she led efforts to empower women and girls globally. A pediatrician and 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 led the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle’s work as a physician, public health official, nonprofit and philanthropy executive, and college president demonstrates a deep commitment to ensuring that people across gender, racial, ethnic, class, geographic, and other demographic lines have access to quality healthcare and educational and economic opportunities.
“As a physician whose career has spanned public health, global poverty alleviation and community economic development, I am committed to using my skills to help contribute to greater social justice and equity in our country and our world,” said Dr. Helene Gayle. “I’m honored to receive this award and excited about philanthropy’s role in addressing the multiple, interconnected issues that perpetuate inequities in our society.”
“WPI is honored to present the Shaw-Hardy Taylor Award to Dr. Helene Gayle for her philanthropic leadership and dedication to advancing equity,” said WPI Director Jeannie Sager. “Not only is her deep expertise across a diverse range of issue areas invaluable to the philanthropic community, her work demonstrates the wide-reaching impact that’s possible when we commit to empowering women and girls.”