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Spelman College

President's Office

Helene D. Gayle, M.D., MPH, 11th President of Spelman College

Spelman President Helene D GayleHelene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., began serving as the 11th president of Spelman College on July 1, 2022. Dr. Gayle previously served as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, from October 2017 to June 2022. Under her leadership, the Trust adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region.

For almost a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. 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 prevention. She led the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s programs on HIV/AIDS prevention and other global health issues.

Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America and the ONE Campaign. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health Association, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics. She was appointed by President Biden to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States and also serves on the CDC Advisory Committee to the Director.

Dr. Gayle is from Buffalo, N.Y. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. She is a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Environmental and Health Sciences at Spelman College and has received 18 honorary degrees.

Dr. Gayle is married to Stephen Keith, the First Gentleman of Spelman College, who is also a physician and a proud Spelman dad.

Speaker Request    Dr. Gayle's Bio

Start of QuoteAs the 11th president, I am committed to working with all of you to change the lives of those who will change the lives of others. We all owe a debt of gratitude to President Emeritus Mary Schmidt Campbell and the presidents who came before her for Spelman's standing among  elite institutions and the impact that it has had on the nation and on the world."

-- Dr. Helene D. Gayle