Mark Alexander, Ph.D., is a retired research scientist at the Division of Research Kaiser Permanente Northern California. He is the former assistant director of the Medical Effectiveness Research Center for Diverse Populations, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Alexander is an epidemiologist who is committed to improving health outcomes of marginalized communities. The effects of racism and social class on health are of particular interest to Dr. Alexander. He is the national secretary of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and is a leader of the organization’s Health and Wellness Committee. He is also an advisor to numerous community organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Alexander has published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Heart Journal, and other peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Alexander’s research interests include cardiovascular disease, geriatric epidemiology, and child health. He is currently the executive director of Youth Movement, a community-based initiative dedicated to improving the health, fitness, and well-being of Black children. Dr. Alexander received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his master’s in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Gilda A. Barabino, Ph.D., was the Daniel and Frances Berg Professor and dean of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York (CCNY) until July 1, when she became president of Olin College of
Engineering. At CCNY, she held appointments in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and the CUNY School of Medicine. Prior to joining CCNY, she served as associate chair for graduate studies and professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. At Georgia Tech she also served as the inaugural vice provost for academic diversity. Prior to her appointments at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory, she rose to the rank of full professor of chemical engineering and served as vice provost for undergraduate education at Northeastern University. She is a noted investigator in the areas of sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, and race/ethnicity and gender in science and engineering. Dr. Barabino received her B.S. degree in chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Rice University. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). She is past president of BMES and past president of AIMBE. Her many honors include an honorary degree from Xavier University of Louisiana; the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; and the Pierre Galetti Award, AIMBE’s highest honor. Dr. Barabino is a trustee of Xavier University of Louisiana and a member of the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Engineering, the congressionally mandated Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, and the National Academies Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. She has served on the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council and the National Academies Committee on the Impacts of Sexual Harassment in Academia. Dr. Barabino consults nationally and internationally on STEM education and research, diversity in higher education, policy, workforce development, and faculty development. She is the founder and executive director of the National Institute for Faculty Equity.
Richard Besser, M.D., is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a position he assumed in April 2017. He is the former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and ABC News’ former chief health and medical editor. At RWJF, Dr. Besser leads the largest private foundation in the country devoted solely to
improving the nation’s health. RWJF’s work is focused on building a comprehensive Culture of Health that provides everyone in America with a fair and just opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. Access to healthy food, clean air and water, safe housing, secure employment at a living wage, transportation, education, and the elimination of barriers from discrimination are all important contributors to health and well-being. In his role at ABC News, he provided medical analysis and reports for all ABC News programs and platforms. His weekly health chats on social media reached millions. While at ABC News, Dr. Besser traveled all over the United States and around the globe to cover major medical news stories. He walked the Ebola wards in Liberia in 2014, reporting from the center of the deadly epidemic, and continued to provide extensive coverage for months. In 2011, he led ABC’s global health coverage, Be the Change: Save a Life, reporting on critical global health issues from seven nations. Before joining ABC News in 2009, Dr. Besser worked as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the CDC. In that role he was responsible for all the CDC’s public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities. He also served as acting director of the CDC from January to June 2009, during which time he led the CDC’s response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Dr. Besser’s tenure at the CDC began in 1991 working on the epidemiology of food-borne illness. He then served for 5 years on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, as the pediatric residency director, while also conducting research and working for the county health department on the control of pediatric tuberculosis. He returned to the CDC in 1998 as an infectious disease epidemiologist working on pneumonia, antibiotic resistance, and the control of antibiotic overuse. The author or coauthor of hundreds of presentations, abstracts, chapters, editorials, and publications, Dr. Besser has earned many awards for his work in public health and for his volunteer service. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He received the Surgeon General’s Medallion for his leadership during the H1N1 response, and in 2011 he accepted the Dean’s Medal for his contributions to public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His investigative reporting into umbilical cord blood banking was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011. In 2012, he received an Overseas Press Club award as part of ABC’s coverage of global maternal health issues, and two Peabody Awards as part of ABC News’ coverage of Hurricane Sandy and Robin Roberts’ health journey. In 2017 and 2018, he received an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Morning Program” as part of the Good Morning America team.
His book Tell Me the Truth, Doctor: Easy-to-Understand Answers to Your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions was published by Hyperion in 2013. Dr. Besser received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Williams College and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. He continues to practice as a volunteer pediatrician at the Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
Cedric Bright, M.D., physician and patient advocate, is the associate dean for admissions, professor of internal medicine, and the interim associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, North Carolina. Previously, he served as the associate dean of inclusive excellence, the director of the Office Special Programs, and an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medical Education at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. He served as the 112th president of the National Medical Association (NMA) from 2011 to 2012 during which time he advocated in the White House for health equity, increased diversity in clinical trials, and increased the pipeline of students of color into health careers. He was previously an associate clinical professor of internal medicine and community and family medicine at Duke University and a staff physician at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He started his career as a clinical instructor at Brown University as the site director of the Notre Dame Ambulatory Center. Dr. Bright has served as a mentor for premedical and medical students and was featured in a video developed by DiverseMedicine Inc. entitled “Black Male in a White Coat.” He was featured in a publication of the American Association of Medical Colleges entitled “Altering the Course; Black Males in Medicine.” He has spoken at the Congressional Black Caucus Health brain trust on topics related to veterans’ health, disparities within the Department of Veterans Affairs system, and how to strengthen the pipeline of Black males. Recently, Dr. Bright was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the highest honor bestowed to UNC alumni. Dr. Bright serves as a board member for the National Medical Fellowships organization and for the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute. He served as the chair for the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties and the Lincoln Community Health Center. He is a dedicated clinician, community servant leader, husband, and father, as well as a mentor to many.
Martha A. Dawson, D.N.P., R.N., F.A.C.H.E., is the 13th president of the National Black Nurses Association. She is an associate professor at the University of Alabama School of Nursing (UABSON). She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UABSON. In 2010, she earned her doctor of nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Dr. Dawson completed her hospital administration residency at Gaston Memorial Hospital in Gastonia, North Carolina. Her practice, clinical, and research focus is health systems and nursing leadership. Under her leadership, the Nursing and Systems Administration track at UABSON was ranked number 2 in the United States and has been ranked in the top 10 for the 10 years under her leadership. She served in senior-level positions such as vice president of clinical affairs/operations, chief nurse executive, associate chief operating officer, nursing director, and assistant to the vice president of nursing. She managed her own healthcare consulting business. Dr. Dawson is a scholar in the Sparkman Global Health Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Robert Wood Johnson nurse executive fellow, and a Johnson & Johnson Wharton nurse administrative fellow. She has served as the principal investigator, project director, and coordinator on Health Resources and Services Administration and foundation grants exceeding $2.5 million. In 2019, Dr. Dawson was inducted into the Alabama Nurses Hall of Fame.
Victor J. Dzau, M.D., is the president of the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In addition, he serves as chair of the IOM Division Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. He is chancellor emeritus and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University and the past president and CEO of the Duke University Health System. Previously, Dr. Dzau was the Hersey Professor of Theory and Practice of Medicine and chairman of medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Dzau has made a significant impact on medicine through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, his pioneering of the discipline of vascular medicine, and his leadership in health-care innovation. His important work on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) paved the way for the contemporary understanding of RAS in cardiovascular disease and the development of RAS inhibitors as widely used, lifesaving drugs. Dr. Dzau also pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease, and his recent work
on stem cell paracrine mechanisms and the use of microRNA in direct reprogramming provides novel insight into stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. In his role as a leader in health care, Dr. Dzau has led efforts in health-care innovation. His vision is for academic health sciences centers to lead the transformation of medicine through innovation, translation, and globalization. Leading this vision at Duke, he and his colleagues developed the Duke Translational Medicine Institute, the Duke Global Health Institute, the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School, and the Duke Institute for Health Innovation. These initiatives create a seamless continuum from discovery and translational sciences to clinical care, and they promote transformative innovation in health. As one of the world’s preeminent academic health leaders, Dr. Dzau advises governments, corporations, and universities worldwide. He has been a member of the Council of the IOM and the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as chair of the NIH Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee and the Association of Academic Health Centers. He served on the Governing Board of the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and the Board of Health Governors of the World Economic Forum and chaired its Global Agenda Council on Personalized and Precision Medicine. He also served as the senior health policy advisor to Her Highness Sheikha Moza (Chair of the Qatar Foundation). Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Singapore Health System, the Expert Board of the Imperial College Health Partners, United Kingdom, and the International Advisory Board of the Biomedical Science Council of Singapore. In 2011, he led a partnership between Duke University, the World Economic Forum, and McKinsey, and he founded the International Partnership for Innovative Healthcare Delivery and currently chairs its board of directors. Among his honors and recognitions are the Gustav Nylin Medal from the Swedish Royal College of Medicine; the Max Delbruck Medal from Humboldt University, Charité, and the Max Planck Institute; the Commemorative Gold Medal from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; the Inaugural Hatter Award from the Medical Research Council of South Africa; the Polzer Prize from the European Academy of Sciences and Arts; the Novartis Award for Hypertension Research; the Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association (AHA); and the AHA Research Achievement Award for his contributions to cardiovascular biology and medicine. Recently, he was awarded the Public Service Medal by the President of Singapore. He has received eight honorary doctorates.
Scot X. Esdaile is a member of the National Board of Directors of the NAACP from New Haven, Connecticut, and is president of the Connecticut State Conference.
Harvey Fineberg, M.D., is president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and board chair of the Science Philanthropy Alliance. He previously served as president of the U.S. Institute of Medicine (now National Academy of Medicine), as provost of Harvard University, and as dean of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Prior to joining a philanthropic foundation, he devoted most of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision-making. His past research has focused on global health, assessment of medical technology, evaluation and use of vaccines, and dissemination of medical innovations. Dr. Fineberg is a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the China Medical Board. He previously served on the boards of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, and the Association François-Xavier Bagnoud (United States). He is past chair of the boards of the Carnegie Endowment and the Hewlett Foundation. He helped found and served as president of the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Fineberg serves on the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine and in a number of advisory capacities, including the Veolia Institute Foresight Committee and the advisory board of the Peterson Center on Healthcare. He is coauthor of the books Clinical Decision Analysis, Innovators in Physician Education, and The Epidemic That Never Was, an analysis of the controversial U.S. immunization program against swine flu in 1976. He has coedited books on such diverse topics as AIDS prevention, vaccine safety, understanding risk in society, and global health and has authored numerous articles published in professional journals. Dr. Fineberg is the recipient of several honorary degrees, the Frank A. Calderone Prize in Public Health, the Henry G. Friesen International Prize in Health Research, and the Harvard Medal, awarded by the alumni association of the university from which he earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees.
Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., is director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he oversees the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of more than $3 billion and a staff of 917 federal employees. The NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood dis-
eases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. Prior to being named director of the NHLBI, Dr. Gibbons served as a member of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) from 2009 to 2012. He was also a member of the NHLBI Board of Extramural Experts, a working group of the NHLBAC. Before joining the NHLBI, he served as the founding director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, chairperson of the Department of Physiology, and professor of physiology and medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta. Under his leadership of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, Dr. Gibbons directed NIH-funded research in the fields of vascular biology, genomic medicine, and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. During his tenure, the Cardiovascular Research Institute emerged as a center of excellence, leading the way in discoveries related to the cardiovascular health of minority populations. Gibbons received several patents for innovations derived from his research in the fields of vascular biology and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. Dr. Gibbons earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency and cardiology fellowship at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Prior to joining the Morehouse School of Medicine in 1999, Dr. Gibbons was a member of the faculty at Stanford University from 1990 to 1996 and at Harvard Medical School from 1996 to 1999. Throughout his career, Dr. Gibbons has received numerous honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies; selection as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Minority Faculty Development Awardee; selection as a Pew Foundation Biomedical scholar; and recognition as an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association.
Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.C., is a leading authority on social determinants of health and health equity. As the vice president of community health for CVS Health, Dr. Graham leads the enterprise-wide social determinants of health (SDoH) strategy, working closely with CVS Health’s many businesses, to ensure differentiated, measurable, and scalable approaches to addressing SDoH in communities across the country. Additionally, he leads public health partnerships and cardiovascular initiatives for CVS Health. Dr. Graham joined CVS Health through the Aetna acquisition, where he was president of the Aetna Foundation since 2014. A cardiologist and professor of medicine, Dr. Graham is passionate about the opportunity to improve local health through cross-sector collaboration.
Dr. Graham previously served as deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under both the Obama and the Bush administrations, where he also ran the Office of Minority Health. He directed the development of the federal government’s first National Health Disparities Plan released under the Obama administration. Dr. Graham was also the assistant dean for health policy at the University of Florida School of Medicine, where he led several research initiatives looking at how to improve outcomes and readmission rates in cardiac patients in underserved populations. He contributes to several boards, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Advisory Council, the Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Associational National Quality Oversight Committee, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Data Standards, and the Harvard Medical School Diversity Fund (chair), and he was named by President Obama to the Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, among others. Dr. Graham has been featured in media outlets including Fortune, USA Today, The Hill, the Chicago Tribune, Essence, U.S. News & World Report, Quartz, and Ebony. He holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, an M.P.H. from Yale School of Public Health, and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University. He completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins, where he trained in cardiology and interventional cardiology. He holds three board certifications, including internal medicine, cardiology, and interventional cardiology.
Camara Phyllis Jones, M.D., M.P.H, Ph.D., just completed her tenure as the 2019–2020 Evelyn Green Davis fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and is a past president of the American Public Health Association (2015–2016). She is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on naming, measuring, and addressing the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation and the world. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high-quality health care but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism). Dr. Jones is a public health leader valued for her creativity and intellectual agility. As a methodologist, she has developed new methods for comparing full distributions of data, rather than simply comparing means or proportions, in order to investigate
population-level risk factors and propose population-level interventions. As a social epidemiologist, her work on “race”-associated differences in health outcomes goes beyond simply documenting those differences to vigorously investigating the structural causes of the differences. As a teacher, her allegories on “race” and racism illuminate topics that are otherwise difficult for many Americans to understand or discuss. She aims through her work to catalyze a National Campaign Against Racism that will mobilize and engage all Americans. Dr. Jones was an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (1994–2000) before being recruited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000–2014), where she served as a medical officer and research director on social determinants of health and equity. Most recently, she was a senior fellow at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine (2013–2019). She has been elected to service on many professional boards, including her current service on the Board of Directors of the DeKalb County (Georgia) Board of Health and the National Board of Public Health Examiners. She is also actively sought as a contributor to national efforts to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity, including as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Black Men and Black Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine; as a faculty member for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s Pursuing Excellence in the Clinical Learning Environment collaborative addressing health-care disparities; and as a project advisor and on-screen expert for the groundbreaking film series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? Highly valued as a mentor and teacher, she is also an adjunct professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and an adjunct associate professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Her many honors include the Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award (Wellesley College’s highest alumnae honor, 2018), the John Snow Award (given in recognition of “enduring contributions to public health through epidemiologic methods and practice” by the American Public Health Association’s Epidemiology Section and the Royal Society for Public Health, 2011), and awards named after luminaries David Satcher (2003), Hildrus A. Poindexter (2009), Paul Cornely (2016), Shirley Nathan Pulliam (2016), Louis Stokes (2018), Frances Borden-Hubbard (2018), and Cato T. Laurencin (2018). Lauded for her compelling clarity on issues of “race” and racism, she has delivered eight commencement addresses over the past several years: University of California Berkeley School of Public Health (2020), University of North
Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health (2018), University of Minnesota School of Public Health (2017), Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (2017), City University of New York School of Medicine (2017), University of California Berkeley School of Public Health (2016), University of California San Francisco School of Medicine (2016), and University of Washington School of Public Health (2013). She was also awarded an honorary doctor of science degree by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2016). Dr. Jones earned her B.A. in molecular biology from Wellesley College, her M.D. from the Stanford University School of Medicine, and both her master of public health and her Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. She also completed residency training in general preventive medicine at Johns Hopkins and in family practice at the Residency Program in Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center.
Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.(Roundtable Chair), is the University Professor and Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is the chief executive officer of the Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering and the director of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut. A practicing sports medicine and shoulder surgeon, Dr. Laurencin has been named to America’s Top Doctors for over 15 years. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a fellow of the American Orthopaedic Association, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Surgical Association. He received the Nicolas Andry Award, the highest honor of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. Dr. Laurencin served as dean of the medical school and vice president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin is a pioneer of the new field of regenerative engineering. He is an expert in biomaterials science, stem cell technology, and nanotechnology and was named one of the 100 Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and received the Founder’s Award from the Society for Biomaterials. He received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award, NIH’s highest and most prestigious research award, for his new field of regenerative engineering and the National Science Foundation’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Grant Award. Dr. Laurencin is the editor-in-chief of Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine, published by Springer Nature,
and is the founder of the Regenerative Engineering Society. He is a fellow of the American Chemical Society, a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, a fellow of the Materials Research Society, and an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow. The AAAS awarded Dr. Laurencin the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize given “for signal contributions to the advancement of science in the United States.” Dr. Laurencin is active in mentoring, especially underrepresented minority students. He received the AAAS Mentor Award, the Beckman Award for Mentoring, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in ceremonies at the White House. The Society for Biomaterials established the Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship in his honor, awarded to underrepresented minority students pursuing research. Dr. Laurencin is also active in addressing health disparities. Dr. Laurencin completed the program in African-American Studies at Princeton University. He is a core faculty member of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, published by Springer Nature. He cofounded the W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute, dedicated to addressing health disparities, and served as its founding chair. The W. Montague Cobb/NMA Health Institute and the National Medical Association established the Cato T. Laurencin Lifetime Research Achievement Award, given during the opening ceremonies of the National Medical Association Annual Meeting. Dr. Laurencin is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Active internationally, he is an elected fellow of the Indian National Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the African Academy of Sciences, and the World Academy of Sciences, and he is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Dr. Laurencin earned a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from Princeton University, and his M.D., magna cum laude, from the Harvard Medical School, and received the Robinson Award for Surgery. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering/biotechnology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was named a Hugh Hampton Young fellow.
Cora Bagley Marrett, Ph.D., is the former deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), a position she held from 2011 to 2014. She previously held the position of senior advisor (2009–2011), except for
6 months when she served as the foundation’s acting director. She has also been a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, where she has held tenure since 1974; she took leave from the university in 2007 to join the NSF as assistant director for education and human resources. From 1992 to 1996, Dr. Marrett was assistant director for social, behavioral, and economic sciences at the NSF. From 1996 to 1998, she served by appointment on the Board of Governors of the Argonne National Laboratory and was a member of a peer-review oversight group for the National Institutes of Health. From 1997 to 2001, she was provost, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, and a professor of sociology and Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Throughout her career, Dr. Marrett has worked to expand opportunities for minorities. She is credited with having brought scholars of color into the field of sociology and with working actively to improve conditions of inequality revealed by sociological research. Dr. Marrett earned a B.A. in sociology from Virginia Union University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, also in sociology, from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received an honorary doctorate from Wake Forest University in 1996 and from Virginia Union University in 2011. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996 and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998. In 2008 the American Sociological Association recognized her many contributions with the Johnson-Cox-Frazier Award, and the Wisconsin Alumni Association honored her with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. She is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Letters and Science.
Marcia McNutt, Ph.D., is a geophysicist and president of the National Academy of Sciences. From 2013 to 2016, she served as editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals. Prior to joining Science, she was director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 2009 to 2013. During her tenure, the USGS responded to a number of major disasters, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and Japan, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Dr. McNutt led a team of government scientists and engineers at BP headquarters in Houston, who helped contain the oil and cap the well. She directed the flow rate technical group that estimated the rate of oil discharge during the spill’s active phase. For her contributions, she was awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Service Medal. Before joining the USGS, Dr. McNutt served as president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), in Moss Landing, California.
During her time at MBARI, the institution became a leader in developing biological and chemical sensors for remote ocean deployment, installed the first deep-sea cabled observatory in U.S. waters, and advanced the integration of artificial intelligence into autonomous underwater vehicles for complex undersea missions. Dr. McNutt began her academic career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she was the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and directed the Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering, jointly offered by MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Her research area is the dynamics of the upper mantle and lithosphere on geologic time scales, work that has taken her to distant continents and oceans for field observations. She is a veteran of more than a dozen deep-sea expeditions, on most of which she was chief or co-chief scientist. Dr. McNutt received a B.A. in physics from Colorado College and Ph.D. in earth sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Her honors include membership in the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She holds honorary doctoral degrees from Colorado College, the University of Minnesota, Monmouth University, and the Colorado School of Mines. In 1988, she was awarded the American Geophysical Union’s James B. Macelwane Medal for research accomplishments by a young scientist, and she received the Maurice Ewing Medal in 2007 for her contributions to deep-sea exploration. Dr. McNutt served as president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) from 2000 to 2002. She was chair of the Board of Governors for Joint Oceanographic Institutions, responsible for operating the International Ocean Discovery Program’s vessel JOIDES Resolution and associated research programs. She is a fellow of AGU, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Association of Geodesy.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., provides a valuable combination of experience at the highest levels of patient care and medical research, as well as organizational management and public health policy. Marrying her transformational leadership acumen and strategic thinking to tackle challenging management issues, she has a track record of redesigning complex organizations’ infrastructures to reflect the needs of evolving strategic environments and position an organization for success through sustainability tactics. The sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and the first woman to lead the freestanding medical institution, Dr. Montgomery Rice serves as both the president and dean. A renowned
infertility specialist and researcher, she most recently served as dean and executive vice president of MSM, where she has served since 2011. Prior to joining MSM, Dr. Montgomery Rice held faculty positions and leadership roles at various health centers, including academic health centers. Most notably, she was the founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately impact women of color. Dedicated to the creation and advancement of health equity, Dr. Montgomery Rice lends her vast experience and talents to programs that enhance pipeline opportunities for academically diverse learners, diversifies the physician and scientific workforce, and fosters equity in health-care access and health outcomes. To this end, she holds memberships in various organizations and participates on a number of boards, such as the following: member, National Academy of Medicine and board of directors for the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, Nemours Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, Westside Future Fund, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans, and Horatio Alger Association. Dr. Montgomery Rice has received numerous accolades and honors. She was named to the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans and received the 2017 Horatio Alger Award. For 3 consecutive years (2016–2018), Georgia Trend Magazine selected Dr. Montgomery Rice as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians. Other honors include the following: Turknett Leadership Character Award (2018), Visions of Excellence Award, Atlanta Business League (2018), Links Incorporated Co-Founders Award (2018), Trumpet Vanguard Award (2015), Dorothy I. Height Crystal Stair Award (2014), National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Women of Impact (2014), YWCA – Women of Achievement of Atlanta (2014) and Nashville (2007), American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell Medal (2011), and Working Mother Media Multicultural Women’s Legacy Award (2011). A Georgia native, Dr. Montgomery Rice holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and doctor of humane letters honorary degree from Rush University. All reflect her lifetime commitment to education, service, and the advancement of health equity. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine and her fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Women’s Hospital.
Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions. He is also chairman of the board of the National Health Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, which aims to improve the health of Americans by enhancing health literacy and advancing healthy behaviors. Dr. Sullivan served as chair of the President’s Commission on Historically Black Colleges and Universities from 2002 to 2009 and was co-chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 2001 to 2006. With the exception of his tenure as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1989 to 1993, Dr. Sullivan was president of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) for more than two decades. As Secretary of HHS, Dr. Sullivan’s efforts to improve the health and health behavior of Americans included (1) the introduction of a new and improved Food and Drug Administration food label; (2) release of Healthy People 2000, a guide for improved health promotion/disease prevention activities; (3) education of the public about health dangers from tobacco use; (4) successful efforts to prevent the introduction of “Uptown,” a nonfiltered, mentholated cigarette by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; (5) inauguration of a $100 million minority male health and injury prevention initiative; and (6) implementation of greater gender and ethnic diversity in senior positions of HHS, including the appointment of the first female director of the National Institutes of Health, the first female and first Hispanic surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service, and the first African American commissioner of the Social Security Administration.
Hannah Valantine received her M.B.B.S. degree (bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery; the United Kingdom’s equivalent to an M.D.) from St. George’s Hospital, London University, in 1978. After that, she moved to the University of Hong Kong Medical School for specialty training in elective surgery before returning to the United Kingdom. She was awarded a diploma of membership by the Royal College of Physicians (M.R.C.P.) in 1981. In addition, she completed postgraduate training and numerous fellowships, serving as senior house officer in cardiology at Brompton Hospital and registrar in cardiology and general medicine at Hammersmith Hospital. In 1985, Dr. Valantine moved to the United States for postdoctoral training in cardiology at Stanford University, and in 1988, she received a doctor of science, medicine, from London University. Dr. Valantine became a clinical assistant professor in the Cardiology Division at Stanford Medicine and rose through the academic ranks to
become a full professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of Heart Transplantation Research. She came to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in 2014 to continue her research while also serving as the first National Institutes of Health chief officer of scientific workforce diversity. Dr. Valantine has received numerous awards throughout her career, including a Best Doctor in America honor in 2002. She has authored more than 160 primary research articles and reviews and previously served on the editorial boards of the journals Graft and Ethnicity & Disease. Dr. Valantine is a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Society of Transplant Physicians, and the American Heart Association and past president of the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate.
Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., is a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the chief of Cardiology Medicine and the Magerstadt Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Yancy has received recognition for clinical and research expertise in the field of heart failure and has additional interests in cardiomyopathy, heart valve diseases, hypertension, and prevention. He is an active member of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, American College of Physicians, and the Heart Failure Society of America. His bibliography includes over 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts, numerous book chapters, editorials and review articles, and consultations for the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He has also received numerous Best Physician and Best Teaching Awards.
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