K-12 | Higher Education | Healthcare | Legends
Communities in Schools of Atlanta
As CEO of Communities in Schools of Atlanta, Frank Brown oversees the organization’s mission to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. CIS of Atlanta has programs in 65 public schools in Atlanta and Fulton, Clayton, and DeKalb Counties. Previously, Brown was the first executive director of the Butler Street Community Development Corporation (formerly the historic Butler Street YMCA) and director of civic engagement and activation at Points of Light.
Education: Johnson C. Smith University, University of South Carolina School of Law (JD)
Inspiring person: Thurgood Marshall
Toughest challenge: Restoring CIS of Atlanta back to prominence after the organization nearly closed in 2013
Few people know: I love practicing yoga.
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Life is more difficult if you’re not prepared to seize opportunities that present themselves.
Bucket list: To lead a national nonprofit that has impact across the country
Atlanta Public Schools
As the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, Meria Joel Carstarphen leads a district with nearly 52,000 students, 6,000 full-time employees, and 87 schools, and oversees the system’s $1 billion annual budget. Formerly, she was superintendent in diverse, major metropolitan public school districts including Austin, Texas, and Saint Paul, Minnesota. Since coming to APS in 2014, she has worked to restore organizational integrity and create a student-focused culture not driven by adult agendas.
Education: Tulane University, Auburn University (EdM), Harvard University (EdM, EdD)
Notable achievements: American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees and the Georgia Federation of Public Service Employees Superintendent of the Year (2018), Tulane University Outstanding Alumna Award (2018), Anti-Defamation League Torch of Liberty Award (2017)
Hidden talent: I can fly a plane.
What I’d say to a recent graduate: Study and do what you love.
Bucket list: To see the aurora borealis
Teacher and Author
The Ron Clark Academy
“America’s educator” Ron Clark is the cofounder of the Ron Clark Academy, an Atlanta middle school that serves as a demonstration school for educational best practices—in the past 10 years, Clark and his staff have provided professional development for more than 50,000 educators. Known for innovative teaching methods and work with children from various educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, Clark is the author of The Essential 55: An Award-Winning Educator’s Rules For Discovering the Successful Student in Every Child.
Education: East Carolina University
Hometown: Chocowinity, North Carolina
Notable achievements: Andrew J. Young International Leadership Award (2017), NAACP President’s Award (2011)
Lesson learned: As long as I am helping others and seeking to be a good person, what others think isn’t worth a hill of beans.
Few people know: I won the Showcase Showdown on The Price Is Right.
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education
Steve Dolinger became the third president of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education in 2002, leading the organization as it promotes education reform across the state through research and communication, including strong advocacy through its EdQuest Coalition. Dolinger previously served for seven years as superintendent of schools in Fulton County and was a teacher and administrator in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Education: Wake Forest University, George Mason University (EdM), Vanderbilt University (EdD)
Notable achievements: Georgia PTA Visionary Award (2010), Georgia Superintendent of the Year (2001), Georgia School Public Relations Association Leadership Award (2001)
First job: Concrete construction
Why I chose this work: I’ve always enjoyed helping prepare students for the next steps in their lives. Education is the ticket.
Best advice received: From a sergeant major in the U.S. Army Reserve: “Take care of your troops and the troops will take care of you.”
President and CEO
Under Elgart’s leadership, Cognia was established following the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment. Elgart provides vision and leadership for a global nonprofit in more than 80 countries—working with 36,000 institutions serving and supporting nearly 25 million students and 5 million educators daily.
Education: Springfield College, Westfield State College (EdM), University of Massachusetts (EdD)
First job: High school math teacher
Why I chose this work: Education is the most important profession in the world besides parenting. There is no greater joy or accomplishment than to help a child learn and be prepared for their future.
Toughest challenge: Leading a school through a crisis due to teen suicide
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: With patience and persistence, you can create the future you believe in.
Who’d play me in a biopic: George Clooney
F. Stuart Gulley
Stuart Gulley is the seventh president of Woodward Academy, the largest college-preparatory school in the continental U.S., with 2,600 students. Previously he served as president of LaGrange College, and before that in several administrative capacities at Emory University, including associate vice president for university development and church relations. An ordained United Methodist minister, Gulley is the author of The Academic President as Moral Leader: James T. Laney at Emory University, 1977-1993, published by Mercer University Press.
Education: Vanderbilt University, Emory University Candler School of Theology (MDiv), Georgia State University (PhD)
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Why I chose this work: Education is crucial for the growth and development of individuals and communities. It is a privilege to be part of helping people and communities to become all they are meant to be.
Lesson learned: “Being challenged is inevitable; being defeated is optional.”
Favorite book: The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks
Fulton County Schools
Mike Looney became superintendent of Fulton County Schools in 2019, having served in similar positions in Williamson County, Tennessee, and Butler County, Alabama. Under his leadership in Butler County, the school district realized significant student achievement gains, improved the graduation rate, and established its first magnet school. A public educator since 1994, Looney has also been a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent. Prior to entering education, Looney was a finance manager and served for seven years with the U.S. Marines.
Education: Jacksonville State University (EdM), University of Alabama (EdS, EdD)
Notable achievements: Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) Superintendent of the Year (2016), Greenville, Alabama, Citizen of the Year (2008)
President and CEO
Georgia Charter Schools Association
Tony Roberts is president and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association. Previously he was executive director of Camp Fire USA, a youth development agency in Dallas, and vice president of development for Texas CAN! Academies, which supports 10 charter high schools serving at-risk youth in five Texas cities. A native Tennessean, Roberts has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 1986, and was a founding member of AFP’s Smoky Mountain Chapter.
Education: Carson-Newman College, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM, PhD)
First job: Working in a gas station in the days of full service to customers
Hidden talent: I can do plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work with the best of them. I own two power nailers, for instance!
Hobbies: Collecting and playing vinyl records and turntables, travel, home improvement
Favorite book: The Power of Intention by Wayne W. Dyer
J. Alvin Wilbanks
Superintendent and CEO
Gwinnett County Public Schools
J. Alvin Wilbanks has been superintendent and CEO of Gwinnett County Public Schools since 1996. Under his leadership, the district twice won the Broad Prize for Urban Education, which recognizes urban school districts nationally making the greatest strides in raising student achievement and reducing education gaps. Wilbanks was the first chairman of the Georgia Education Coalition, formed in 2006 to give districts a unified voice on education funding and policy, and the founding president of Gwinnett Technical College in 1984.
Education: Georgia State University, University of Georgia (EdM)
Hometown: Nicholson, Georgia
Notable achievements: Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award (2008), Georgia Superintendent of the Year (2005), National Superintendent of the Year Finalist (2005)
Technical College System of Georgia
Matt Arthur has been commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia since 2018, having served the previous three years as its deputy commissioner. During his career, Arthur has been a teacher, coach, director of career and technical education, assistant principal, and secondary principal; for 13 years he was superintendent of the Rabun County School District before joining the Nathan Deal administration as director of education reform in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. Arthur has held leadership roles with the Georgia School Superintendents Association and Georgia’s Education Reform Commission, and represents Georgia on the Southern Regional Education Board.
Education: University of Georgia College of Education (EdM)
Notable achievements: University of Georgia College of Education Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award (2018), member of UGA’s 1980 national championship football team
Mark P. Becker
Georgia State University
Since becoming president in 2009, Mark Becker has led Georgia State University through a period of growth and transformation. In a consolidation with Georgia Perimeter College in 2016, GSU increased its student population to more than 53,000, making it the largest university in Georgia and one of the largest nationwide. Also one of the most diverse universities in the U.S., GSU has set records for its graduation rates and is recognized for eliminating disparities in student achievement based on race, ethnicity, and income.
Education: Towson State University, Pennsylvania State University (PhD)
Hometown: Havre de Grace, Maryland
Why I chose this work: I wanted to assure American higher education would continue to be an engine of opportunity.
Hobbies: Cycling, ice climbing, mountaineering
Favorite book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Big Dreams + Hard Work = Opportunity
Georgia Institute of Technology
In 2019 Ángel Cabrera became the 12th president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, following a seven-year stint as president of George Mason University. From 2004 to 2012 Cabrera was president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is now part of Arizona State University. As a business educator, he has played a key role in advancing professional ethics, internationalization, and corporate social responsibility and has been published in leading academic journals. Born in Madrid, Cabrera is the first native of Spain to serve as president of an American university.
Education: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Georgia Tech (MS, PhD)
Why I chose this work: Education is the best tool we have to shape the world for the better. I have always been an educator at heart and have always known I would be in education one way or another.
Notable achievements: Carnegie Corporation of New York Great Immigrant (2017), Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow (2008), Businessweek Star of Europe (2004)
First job: Busboy at my dad’s diner
Mary Schmidt Campbell
Mary Schmidt Campbell became the 10th president of Spelman College in 2015. A major cultural force in New York City before moving to Atlanta, Campbell began her career at the Studio Museum in Harlem, serving for 10 years as director. In 1987 she became the city’s cultural affairs commissioner, followed by more than two decades as dean of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Campbell vice chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.
Education: Swarthmore College, Syracuse University (MA, PhD)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Toughest challenge: Spelman’s number one goal is to graduate 100 percent of the women who enroll. As a college community our challenge is to find a successful pathway to graduation and a lifetime of career possibilities for each and every one of our 2,100 students.
Hobbies: Skiing, travel, writing, arts
Favorite travel destinations: New York and my home in Montana
President and CEO
Created to enhance educational funding, the Georgia Lottery currently provides $1.2 billion annually for the state’s HOPE and Pre-K programs—revenues that Georgia Lottery president and CEO Gretchen Corbin works to maximize, ensuring continued access for Georgia students. Before coming to the Lottery in January 2018, Corbin served as commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, which comprises 22 colleges and myriad economic development and workforce training programs. Previously she was commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Education: Clemson University
First job: Lifeguard
Favorite book: Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
What I’d tell a recent graduate: To focus on their soft skills as much as their education
Bucket list: I would love to go to Wimbledon.
Who’d play me in a biopic: Reese Witherspoon
James Curran, MD
Dean and Professor
Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
Before becoming dean of Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health in 1995, James Curran spent 24 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reaching the rank of assistant surgeon general. In 1981 he was tapped to lead the investigation into the first five cases of a mysterious new disease now known as AIDS. The author of nearly 300 scientific publications, Curran led the CDC’s research and public health activities in response to the worldwide HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Education: University of Notre Dame, Harvard University (MPH), University of Michigan (MD)
Notable achievements: American Public Health Association John Snow Award (2003), Surgeon General’s Medal of Excellence (1996)
Toughest challenge: Understanding and combating the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s
Few people know: I love pizza and craft IPAs.
Favorite travel destination: Walkable cities around the world
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Know yourself, respect others, and always do your best.
George T. French Jr.
Clark Atlanta University
In 2019, George T. French Jr. became the fifth president of Clark Atlanta University, the largest United Negro College Fund institution in the country. Prior to his appointment, French served for 13 years as the president of Miles College. A nationally recognized leader and influencer in higher education and educational policy, French has served three secretaries of education under two presidents as a congressional appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. He is a two-term board member for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges.
Education: University of Louisville, Miles Law School (JD), Jackson State University (PhD)
Notable achievements: Under French’s leadership at Miles College, the institution maintained fiscal stability and growth with a composite financial index among the top 10 percent of HBCUs in the nation. His awards include Birmingham Spotlight Man of the Year, NAACP Man of the Year, and the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.
Professor, Urban Studies Institute
Georgia State University
Dan Immergluck, a professor in the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University, is the author of four books, more than 50 scholarly articles, numerous book chapters, and scores of research reports. An expert on housing, neighborhood change, real estate, and community development, he’s been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Justice, testified several times before Congress, and served as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Education: Northwestern University, University of Michigan (MPP), University of Illinois at Chicago (PhD)
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Why I chose this work: I have a passion for making cities more just and equitable.
Toughest challenge: Raising teenagers
Few people know: I once wrote a press release for Illinois state senator Barack Obama.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Buford Highway
Erika Hayes James
Emory University Goizueta Business School
Erika H. James became the John H. Harland Dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in July 2014. A published researcher and award-winning educator with a passion for consulting and speaking, she places an emphasis on what higher education can do to be of service to industry. Her expertise in workplace diversity and crisis leadership has led to recognition in scholarly journals and mainstream media including the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, and CNBC. Under James’s leadership, Goizueta remains one of the top business schools in the nation. James sits on multiple councils and committees at Emory University and is an active board member of the Graduate Management Admissions Council, SurveyMonkey, and Alliance Theatre.
Education: Pomona College, University of Michigan (MA, PhD)
First job: Cashier at Burger King
Best advice received: From my mother: “Don’t get married too young.”
Thoughts on diversity: At some level, organizations recognize the need to create an inclusive environment, if for no other reason than we’ve become more global as a society.
Linda A. McCauley
Dean, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
As dean of Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing since 2009, Linda A. McCauley has launched a comprehensive strategic plan to position the school at the forefront of nursing research and policy. Under her leadership, the school has risen from number 26 to number four in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of graduate nursing schools. In 2015, McCauley secured a $5 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Emory. An advocate for workers’ rights, occupational health, and environmental protections, McCauley has testified on these issues on Capitol Hill.
Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (MSN), University of Cincinnati (PhD)
Hometown: High Point, North Carolina
Inspiring person: My mother was a nurse and I grew up seeing how her work was such a defining factor of who she was.
Hidden talent: Played women’s soccer 30 years ago
Hobbies: Quilting, reading, and exercise
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD
President and Dean
Morehouse School of Medicine
Valerie Montgomery Rice is the sixth president of Morehouse School of Medicine and the first woman to hold the position. Before joining Morehouse in 2011 as executive vice president, Montgomery Rice was founding director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, one of the nation’s first research centers devoted to studying diseases that disproportionately affect women of color. An infertility specialist and researcher, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2016.
Education: Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School (MD)
Hometown: Macon, Georgia
Notable achievements: Atlanta Business League Visions of Excellence Award (2018), Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Horatio Alger Award (2017), Trumpet Awards Foundation Vanguard Award (2015), American Medical Women’s Association Elizabeth Blackwell Medal (2011)
Jere W. Morehead
University of Georgia
Jere W. Morehead became the University of Georgia’s 22nd president in 2013. Previously he held other key administrative roles, including senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. Morehead has been a faculty member of the Terry College of Business since 1986, coauthored several books, and published scholarly articles on legal topics ranging from export controls to jury selection. He was an assistant U.S. attorney from 1980 to 1986.
Education: Georgia State University, University of Georgia School of Law (JD)
Hometown: Lakeland, Florida
Notable achievements: University of Georgia Josiah Meigs Award for Excellence in Teaching (2001), University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1995), Terry College of Business Teacher of the Year Award (1988, 1998)
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Never compromise your integrity or trust.
Charities: Student scholarships
Claire E. Sterk
Claire E. Sterk became the 20th president of Emory University in 2016, following stints as the institution’s sixth provost and its executive vice president for academic affairs. A strong advocate for increased access and inclusion at research universities, she is known for championing collaboration and innovation within the academy as well as through external engagement. The Netherlands native is a widely regarded public-health scholar and the author of three books and more than 125 peer-reviewed articles.
Education: Free University Amsterdam, Utrecht University (Drs), Erasmus University Rotterdam (PhD)
First job: Buying groceries and delivering those on my bike
Inspiring person: President Jimmy Carter, who as a faculty member at Emory for more than three decades has shared the power of using one’s moral compass
Charities: Homelessness, mental health, human rights
David A. Thomas
After a 30-year academic career spent largely at Ivy League institutions, David Thomas became the 12th president of Morehouse College in 2018. He seeks to grow the college’s endowment and brings a successful track record in fundraising. Before coming to Morehouse, Thomas was H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and previously served as dean of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he led a $130 million capital campaign.
Education: Yale College, Columbia University (MA), Yale University (MPhil, PhD)
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Notable achievements: Nationally known for his research on managing diversity in the workplace, Thomas has written two books and numerous academic articles.
Paula S. Wallace
President and Founder
Savannah College of Art and Design
Paula Wallace is president and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), a comprehensive art and design university with locations in Atlanta, Savannah, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France. Wallace has founded three teaching museums, including SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, and launched SCADpro, a professional studio for invention and design thinking, where students collaborate directly with Google, Delta, BMW, Uber, and other global brands. Wallace created SCADFILM to advance the entertainment arts in Georgia and is the author of several books. SCAD has more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students and 43,000 alumni across six continents.
Education: Furman University, Georgia State University (EdM, EdS)
Notable achievements: American Society of Interior Designers McClelland Merit Award (2017), Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Ross Award for Stewardship (2016), National Trust for Historic Preservation du Pont Crowninshield Award (2016)
First job: Teaching piano when I was 12.
Favorite book: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Pamela S. Whitten
Kennesaw State University
Named the fifth president of Kennesaw State University in 2018, Pamela S. Whitten has devoted herself to enhancing the availability of in-demand courses, increasing summer enrollment, initiating hiring of new faculty and advisers, creating scholarships, and strengthening the university’s research capacity. Whitten came to Kennesaw State from the University of Georgia, where she was provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; previously she’d been the director for telemedicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. An internationally recognized expert in telemedicine, Whitten has published two books and authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, and has conducted research with funding from state and federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Education: Tulane University, University of Kentucky (MA), University of Kansas (PhD)
University System of Georgia
As the 14th chancellor of the University System of Georgia, Steve Wrigley oversees 26 public colleges and universities, with 47,000 faculty and staff, more than 325,000 students, and an annual budget of $9.11 billion. He has focused on three core goals: affordability, efficiency, and graduating more students. Before becoming chancellor in 2017, Wrigley served as executive vice chancellor of administration. Previously, as chief of staff to former governor Zell Miller, he helped create the Georgia Lottery and HOPE scholarship.
Education: Georgia State University, Northwestern University (MA, PhD)
Hometown: Hutchinson, Kansas
Notable achievements: Reduced administrative costs by $32 million; increased the number of students earning degrees and held tuition steady in 2018-2019
First job: Mowing grass
Why I chose this work: Higher education changed my life.
Best advice received: Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
Leocadia I. Zak
Agnes Scott College
Appointed the ninth president of Agnes Scott College in 2018, Leocadia I. Zak has an extensive background in international economic development and international project finance. In 2010 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, an independent federal agency that advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. Zak first joined the agency in 2000; prior to entering public service, she was an attorney for 18 years at the Boston firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo.
Education: Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University School of Law (JD)
Hometown: Lynn, Massachusetts
Notable achievements: Under Zak’s leadership, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency was recognized for five consecutive years as one of the best places to work in the federal government, as measured by the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey.
First job: Working in a veterinary clinic
Inspiring person: My mother. She was the first in her family to go to college.
President and CEO
Saint Joseph’s Health System and Mercy Care
In 2003 Tom Andrews became president of Mercy Care, a healthcare provider that serves Atlanta’s homeless population, and in 2012 he was named president and CEO of Saint Joseph’s Health System, comprising Mercy Care, Mercy Care Foundation, and Mercy Care Rome. Mercy Care met the needs of more than 13,500 patients in 2017, and Andrews has been recognized for his leadership in combating tuberculosis. Previously he was president of the consulting firm Independent Physician Strategies.
Education: Ohio State University
Why I chose this work: I was drawn to healthcare at a very young age when I witnessed my mother die unnecessarily due to the nonmanagement of a chronic disease.
Few people know: I love dogs. I want to buy a farm and adopt 100 of them.
Best advice received: Always do the right thing.
Toughest challenge: Losing my mother at age 12
Hobbies: Tennis, golf, hiking
President and CEO
Kevin Brown joined Piedmont Healthcare as president and CEO in 2013. Formerly, he was CEO for Swedish Health Services in Seattle. Under his leadership, Piedmont has become the largest healthcare system in Georgia, doubling in size since 2015 with more than 600 locations, including 11 hospitals. The Piedmont Clinic has also expanded from 800 to more than 2,300 physicians. In the last three years, among other clinical improvements, Piedmont has reduced its hospital-acquired infections by 69 percent. Brown has been an advocate for transparency. Piedmont was among the first hospitals to post online patient reviews and emergency room wait times, allow patients to schedule appointments online, and offer a 24-7 virtual care app.
Education: University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Arizona State University (MHSA)
Why I chose this work: I purposely chose the nonprofit side of healthcare because, at the end of the day, we are here to make a positive difference for our patients without having to worry about shareholder interests. I also grew up in the industry. My father was a rural hospital CEO and my mother was a nurse practitioner.
Walter J. Curran Jr., MD
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Walter J. Curran Jr. is the executive director of Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, the first and only cancer center in Georgia designated by the National Cancer Institute; Curran is also the first radiation oncologist to serve as director of an NCI-designated cancer center. A widely regarded expert on the management of patients with locally advanced lung cancer and malignant brain tumors, he’s been a principal investigator on numerous NCI grants and currently serves as a group chair and principal investigator of NRG Oncology—the largest of the five NCI-funded National Clinical Trials Network groups. Curran is also a professor in and chair of Emory’s Department of Radiation Oncology. Previously he was a professor and chair of radiation oncology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and clinical director of Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center.
Education: Dartmouth College, Medical College of Georgia (MD)
Carlos del Rio, MD
Chair, Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health
Carlos del Rio is the Hubert professor and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, as well as a professor of medicine at the Emory School of Medicine. He also codirects the Emory Center for AIDS Research and is director of the Emory AIDS International Training and Research Program. Before joining the Emory faculty in 1996, del Rio was executive director of CONASIDA, the agency of the Mexican government responsible for AIDS policy. He was a member of the Programme Coordinating Board of UNAIDS from 1995 to 1997.
Education: Instituto Cumbres, Universidad La Salle (MD)
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Inspiring person: J. Willis Hurst, former chair of the Emory University Department of Medicine
Favorite movie: Casablanca
Favorite travel destination: Paris
Charities: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Bucket list: Tierra del Fuego and Perito Moreno Glacier
Douglas Graham, MD
Chief, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
As chief of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Douglas Graham helps recruit cancer and hematology researchers who will be able to guide the development of new treatments for pediatric hematology/oncology patients. A physician-scientist with clinical expertise in the treatment of children with leukemia, Graham is involved in children’s oncology and has assisted in the implementation of national clinical trials in pediatric cancer. He leads a research lab developing novel therapeutics for pediatric cancer and has helped develop a new cancer drug that’s in clinical trials at the Emory School of Medicine.
Education: Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina (MD, PhD)
Hometown: Carthage, North Carolina
Hidden talent: Play alto saxophone
Hobbies: Tennis, hiking
Favorite book: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Bucket list: See the northern lights
Patrice A. Harris, MD
American Medical Association
Atlanta psychiatrist Patrice Harris became president-elect of the American Medical Association in June 2018. She has held numerous leadership positions in the AMA, the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, and the Medical Association of Georgia. She was also founding president of the Georgia Psychiatry Political Action Committee. As former chief health officer for Fulton County, Harris spearheaded efforts to integrate public health, behavioral health, and primary care.
Education: West Virginia University (MA), West Virginia University School of Medicine (MD)
Hometown: Bluefield, West Virginia
Why I chose this work: I was inspired to go into medicine by Marcus Welby, M.D.
Few people know: I was a majorette/twirler in junior high and high school.
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Stay true to your values and trust your inner voice.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Mercedes-Benz Stadium on a Sunday
John M. Haupert
President and CEO
Grady Health System
As president and CEO of Grady Health System since 2011, John Haupert leads the safety-net healthcare system that serves DeKalb and Fulton Counties and operates the primary Level I trauma center and burn center for metro Atlanta. Previously chief operating officer at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Haupert began his career in healthcare management at Dallas’s Methodist Health System, where he became president of one of the system’s hospitals and executive vice president for corporate services and business development.
Education: Trinity University (MS)
Hometown: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Notable achievements: Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, recipient of the ACHE Regent’s Award, immediate past chairman of the board of directors of America’s Essential Hospitals
First job: Working in a warehouse, unloading semitrucks filled with 500-pound oil drums for $1.93 an hour
Favorite travel destination: Sante Fe, New Mexico
Monica A. Hum, MD
Colorectal Surgeon, Managing Partner, and Founder
ATL Colorectal Surgery
Monica Hum is managing partner and founder of ATL Colorectal Surgery. She is a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. She’s also on the Piedmont Healthcare board, chair of the Piedmont Healthcare Women Physicians Network, and chair of the Piedmont Atlanta Perioperative Governance Committee.
Education: Boston University, Emory University Goizueta School of Business (MBA), State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine (MD)
Notable achievements: The first to perform several endoscopic surgeries at Piedmont
First job: Soda girl
Why I chose this work: During my freshman year in college, my mother quit smoking. One year later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She died during my senior year.
Few people know: I helped raise a penguin as my college work-study job at the New England Aquarium.
Donna W. Hyland
President and CEO
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Donna Hyland has overseen monumental growth and achievement at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, first as chief financial officer, then as chief operating officer, and now as president and CEO. She was instrumental in the 1998 merger of Egleston Children’s Health Care System and Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center, and the later additions of Hughes Spalding and Marcus Autism Center, into what is now one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country.
Education: Western Kentucky University
First job: An intern for a judge
Favorite books: Patrick Lencioni’s leadership books
Favorite travel destination: Italy or the beach
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Try new experiences and push yourself to keep learning.
Kim H. Jones
As executive director, Kim H. Jones is responsible for the strategic management and financial operations of NAMI Georgia, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of mental health. Under her leadership, the organization has grown its annual budget from $180,000 to $2.6 million, and last year served 30,000 people—up from 18,000 annually in years prior. Before joining NAMI Georgia, Jones was the director of skills development at Goodwill of North Georgia. She has 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, education, training, marketing, and business development.
Education: University of Georgia
Hometown: Dunwoody, Georgia
Why I chose this work: As a person with a family member who has experienced issues in the area of mental health, I have a passion for the mission of NAMI Georgia to promote recovery and optimize the quality of life for Georgians affected by mental illness through support, education, advocacy, and research.
Best advice received: What gets measured gets done.
Jonathan S. Lewin, MD
EVP, Health Affairs
President, CEO, and board chair
Jonathan Lewin, a radiologist and pioneer in interventional and intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging, came to Emory University in 2016 as executive vice president for health affairs and as president, CEO, and board chair of Emory Healthcare. An inventor on more than 25 patents related to MR technology, he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts. Previously he was senior vice president of integrated healthcare delivery for Johns Hopkins Medicine and radiology chair at Johns Hopkins University.
Education: Brown University, Yale School of Medicine (MD)
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Why I chose this work: There is no privilege greater than the opportunity to improve human health and well-being.
First job: Movie theater usher (at the age of 14!)
Hidden talent: Playing jazz saxophone
What I’d tell a recent graduate: Never waste the opportunity to make someone feel valued and respected.
Sarah A. Morrison
President and CEO
Sarah A. Morrison is president and CEO of Shepherd Center, which she joined in 1984. Since then she’s held a variety of leadership roles, including vice president of clinical services, director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program, director of the medical/surgical and ICU programs, manager of the Spinal Cord Injury Day Program, physical therapist, and physical therapy supervisor. Morrison has written many peer-reviewed publications, presented nationally and internationally, and participated in research studies; in 2003 she received the award for Clinical Excellence in Neurology from the Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Education: University of Miami, Georgia State University (MBA, MHA)
Hometown: Fredonia, New York
Why I chose this work: While on the University of Miami diving team, I injured my back severely enough to be in a body cast for nine months. During my recovery, I underwent physical therapy and realized what I wanted to do with my life—help others recover.
First job: Baskin-Robbins
President and CEO
Robert Quattrocchi is president and CEO of the Northside Hospital health system, which provides care to nearly 4 million patients annually; Quattrocchi oversees a system comprising five nonprofit hospitals, almost 3,500 physicians, and more than 21,000 employees. In 2017 the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Quattrocchi one of the area’s Most Admired CEOs, and he was included in a list of the country’s top 100 CEOs in the 2018 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards. Quattrocchi has been part of Northside Hospital’s senior management team since 1987; prior to assuming the top job in 2004, he served as chief operating officer and executive vice president of finance and administration, chief financial officer, and director of fiscal services.
Robert R. Redfield, MD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Robert Redfield, a virologist with expertise in HIV/AIDS, is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. He was founding director of the Department of Retroviral Research in the U.S. Military HIV Research Program, and he cofounded the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology. Redfield made important early contributions to the scientific understanding of HIV, including the demonstration of active HIV replication in all stages of infection.
Education: Georgetown University, Georgetown University School of Medicine (MD)
Notable achievements: Past member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (2005-2009) and advisory boards within the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration
Candice L. Saunders
President and CEO
WellStar Health System
As president and CEO of Marietta-based WellStar Health System, Candice Saunders oversees the largest integrated health delivery system in Georgia. Under her leadership, WellStar acquired six additional hospitals and expanded its clinically integrated network, WellStar Clinical Partners. Formerly the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Saunders joined WellStar as president of Kennestone Hospital in 2007. She began her career as a critical care nurse. Saunders serves on the board of trustees of the American Hospital Association.
Education: University of South Florida, University of Alabama at Birmingham (MBA, MHA)
Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
First job: Administrative assistant
Notable achievements: Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Georgia Hospital Association W. Daniel Barker Leadership Award (2017), National Association of Female Executives Healthcare Champion (2015)
Why I chose this work: I have always had a passion to help others and it was this purpose that called me to nursing and healthcare.
Anne Schuchat, MD
Principal Deputy Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
First joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1988 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, Anne Schuchat has filled a number of leadership roles within the organization, including acting director; she’s currently principal deputy director. The author of more than 230 scientific articles, chapters, and reviews, Schuchat has played key roles in CDC emergency responses including to the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic and the 2003 SARS outbreak in China. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2008.
Education: Swarthmore College, Dartmouth Medical School (MD)
Toughest challenge: Testing an Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone in the midst of an epidemic
Few people know: Hiked the length of Vermont (on the long trail) after high school
Who’d play me in a biopic: Kate Winslet already did (see Contagion).
Mary Wilson, MD
President and Executive Medical Director
The Southeast Permanente Medical Group
Mary L. Wilson is president and executive medical director of the Southeast Permanente Medical Group, one of Georgia’s largest multispecialty medical groups, with more than 700 clinicians caring for over 300,000 Kaiser Permanente members statewide. Wilson is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Previously she served as area medical director for the Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center in Los Angeles. Wilson has also served with nonprofits in support of victims of domestic violence, and on overseas medical mission trips.
Education: Colorado College, University of Washington (MD), University of California, Los Angeles (MPH)
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Notable achievement: Having the opportunity to lead physicians in the delivery of high-quality, evidence-based medicine that improves the health of our members and our communities
Why I chose this work: I saw the healthcare needs of Alaska’s indigenous communities and wanted to serve in a way that made the most of my skills and abilities.
Executive Vice President, Southeast Region
American Cancer Society
Brant Woodward is the executive vice president of the American Cancer Society’s Southeast Region, serving Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Virginia. As the region’s most senior staff executive, Woodward drives development and implementation of the ACS’s mission and engages corporate executives, high-level donors, and leadership volunteers in furthering the fight against cancer. Woodward started his career with the ACS in 1994 and has filled a number of roles in the organization, including income development vice president, regional vice president, and most recently senior vice president of operations for the East Central Division.
Educaction: Elon University
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Notable achievement: Twenty-five-year career partnering with amazing volunteer leaders and staff colleagues to raise significant funds supporting cancer research, prevention, access to care, and advocacy programs
Inspiring person: My father, who is battling cancer for the third time
Favorite travel destination: London
Vonda Wright, MD
Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute Sports Medicine
Vonda Wright is the inaugural chief of sports medicine at the Northside Hospital Orthopedic Institute. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon and internationally recognized authority on active aging and mobility, Wright is the founding director of the Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA) at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where she was the inaugural medical director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Wright is the medical director for Georgia State University, as well as a physician for the Atlanta Ballet and a match physician for the World Rugby Sevens Series.
Eduaction: Wheaton College, Rush-Presbyterian-Saint Luke’s Medical Center (MS), University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (MD)
Why I chose this work: Initially I was a cancer nurse and realized the fragility of life.
Notable achievements: Writing Fitness After 40 (2008) and creating a nonprofit, Women’s Health Conversations
Best advice received: “Talented people are always asked to do a lot of things, so always weigh the requests against your goals. If you say yes to everything, you’re accumulating bricks, not building a monument.”
William Foege, MD, MPH
Considered a titan of epidemiology, Dr. William Foege was instrumental in the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. At Emory University, he holds the title of Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, in addition to being a Gates Fellow and former Carter Center leader.
David Satcher, MD, PhD
A renowned physician, public health leader, and scholar, Dr. David Satcher is best known for serving as the 16th U.S. Surgeon General. Prior to that, he was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is the founding director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Shepherd and husband Harold cofounded Atlanta’s Shepherd Center in 1975. The facility has grown from a six-bed unit to a world-renowned hospital specializing in research, medical treatment, and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and brain injuries and other neurological conditions.
Louis W. Sullivan, MD
With the exception of his four-year tenure as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which ended in 1993, Dr. Louis Sullivan was president of Morehouse School of Medicine for more than 20 years. Today, he’s the chairman and CEO of the Sullivan Alliance to Transform the Health Professions and chairman of the board of the National Health Museum in Atlanta.
A noted scholar, teacher, author, administrator, and race relations expert, Tatum became the ninth president of Spelman College in 2002. Tatum is a licensed clinical psychologist with an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan, as well as an MA in religious studies from Hartford Seminary, and is the author of the acclaimed 1997 book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race.
A champion of education and literacy, Emory Law graduate and former high school teacher Comer Yates has served since 1998 as executive director of the Atlanta Speech School. Yates also serves as chair of the Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons.