2024 Atlanta 500: Education & Healthcare

2024 Atlanta 500: Education & Healthcare
Morehouse College

Photograph Sean Davis/Getty

K-12 | Higher Education | Healthcare | Legends


Atlanta 500: Frank Brown

Photograph courtesy of individual

Frank Brown
Communities in Schools of Atlanta

As CEO of Communities in Schools of Atlanta, Frank Brown oversees the organization’s mission of surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. The organization offers initiatives such as emergency financial assistance for students and families and programming supporting college students, Latinx populations, and foster care youth. CIS of Atlanta has programs in 70 public schools in Atlanta and Fulton, Clayton, DeKalb, and Spalding counties, reaching 48,000 students daily. Previously, Brown was the first executive director of the Butler Street Community Development Corporation (formerly the historic Butler Street YMCA).

EDUCATION Johnson C. Smith University, University of South Carolina School of Law (JD)
TOUGHEST CHALLENGE Expanding CIS of Atlanta’s College/Career Alumni Program to serve 1,000 students by the year 2026
WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE Great leaders are great adapters.

Atlanta 500: Ed Chang

Ed Chang
Executive Director
RedefinED Atlanta

Ed Chang, as the founding director of RedefinED Atlanta, strives to ensure a high-quality education for every student in the city. A longtime champion of public schools, Chang began his career as a physical therapist before entering the education profession as a seventh-grade science teacher. He spent five years teaching at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Southeast Atlanta before going on to found KIPP STRIVE Academy in 2009. Following that, Chang focused on coaching and strategy for school leaders and districts across the country.

EDUCATION Washington University, Mercer University (MA), National Louis University (CAS)
TOUGHEST CHALLENGE My first year of teaching was simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding time of my life.
HIDDEN TALENT I renovated a used ambulance and turned it into a camper van.
Few people know I just launched Urgent Humanity Apparel, an apparel line designed to be at the intersection of fashion and social justice.

Atlanta 500: Ron Clark

Photograph courtesy of individual

Ron Clark
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. Clark and his staff have provided professional development for more than 100,000 educators. Ninety percent of the school’s alumni attend college. Known for his 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.

Atlanta 500 Elizabeth ElangoElizabeth Elango
CEO and Head of School
Global Village Project

Elizabeth Elango is CEO and Head of School of Global Village Project, a school established for refugee girls from age 11 to 18 years old in Decatur. Born and raised in Cameroon and educated in the United States, Elango has traveled to over 50 countries and has worked in over 30 of Africa’s 54 countries. Previously, she was the CEO of Junior Achievement Africa where she transformed the organization’s ability to impact youth programs, developed sustainable funding models, and expanded its reach into additional countries. As her father was a history professor at Kennesaw State University, she began attending the school at 16 years old. Elango was a Fulbright scholar in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and she began her career at the Carter Center.

EDUCATION Kennesaw State University, Yale University (MA)
FIRST JOB Administrative support for the art department at Kennesaw State University
HOBBIES Appreciating art, buying art, making art; all kinds of art.
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED From my dad: “If you can’t make a situation better, don’t make it worse.” My dad is an old, wise African man. His advice is solid gold.

Atlanta 500 Brandon P. FlemingBrandon P. Fleming

Founder and CEO
Veritas School of Social Sciences

An at-risk youth and college dropout turned award-winning educator, Fleming is the founder and CEO of the Veritas School of Social Sciences formerly known as the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project. Since the program’s inception in 2017, Fleming, a former teacher at the Ron Clark Academy and debate coach at Harvard University, has raised over a million dollars to enroll more than 150 students of color into the Ivy League’s international summer debate residency on full scholarships. He recruits underserved youth with no prior debate experience and trains them to compete against elite debaters from all over the world. In 2018, Fleming’s students became the first all-Black team to win Harvard’s summer debate tournament. His students have now matriculated to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and the like. Fleming’s story, which begins with a failed suicide attempt, is told in Miseducated: A Memoir, published by Hachette Books.

EDUCATION Liberty University, University of Georgia (MFA)
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS Forbes 30 Under 30 (2020), The Root 100 (2020), Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 (2019)
FIRST JOB Factory assembly line worker

Atlanta 500: F. Stuart Gulley

F. Stuart Gulley
Woodward Academy

Stuart Gulley is the seventh president of Woodward Academy, among the largest college-preparatory schools in the continental U.S., with over 2,700 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.

Atlanta 500 Tori Jackson HinesTori Jackson Hines

Founder and Executive Director
Resurgence Hall Inc.

Tori Jackson Hines founded Resurgence Hall Charter School in 2016. In her role as founder and executive director, Jackson Hines led Resurgence Hall to become the No. 1 ranked charter school in Georgia with a College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) score of 93.4 within two years of founding the school. Most recently, Resurgence Hall has been recognized as a Title I Distinguished School by the Georgia Department of Education.

EDUCATION University of Maryland, Loyola Marymount University (MA), Teachers College, Columbia University (MS)
HOMETOWN Richmond, Virginia
FEW PEOPLE KNOW I’m a novice gardener and a wannabe Lego master builder.
LESSON LEARNED Failure is not a failure if it teaches.

Atlanta 500 Mike Looney

Mike Looney
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 in 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)

Atlanta 500: Tony Roberts

Photograph courtesy of the Georgia Charter Schools Association

Tony Roberts
President and CEO
Georgia Charter Schools Association

As president and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association since 2007, Tony Roberts is the leading advocate for Georgia’s public charter schools. Under his leadership, Georgia voters approved a 2012 amendment giving birth to the State Charter Schools Commission, making Georgia the first in the nation to pass such a ballot issue. During the 2022-2023 school year, there were 62,592 students enrolled in Georgia’s 94 charter schools. And there are 14,000 known students on waiting lists to attend these charter schools.

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


Atlanta 500: Raheem Beyah

Raheem Beyah
Dean, College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair
Georgia Institute of Technology
Fortiphyd Logic

Raheem Beyah is the dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair at Georgia Tech. In this role, he works with the associate deans and chairs for each of the college’s eight schools while providing leadership to more than 500 faculty members and more than 17,000 students. Prior to this role, Beyah served as vice president for interdisciplinary research, executive director of the online masters of cybersecurity program, and as a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. An internationally recognized expert in the areas of cyber-physical systems security, network monitoring, and network security, Beyah is also cofounder of Fortiphyd Logic, an industrial cybersecurity company. A native Atlantan and a graduate of Atlanta Public Schools, Beyah is also a graduate of Leadership Atlanta.

EDUCATION North Carolina A&T State University, Georgia Tech (MS, PhD)
FEW PEOPLE KNOW I’m a huge fan of mindfulness meditation.
TOUGHEST CHALLENGE The myth of meritocracy
HOBBIES Weight training

Atlanta 500 M. Brian Blake

M. Brian Blake
Georgia State University

M. Brian Blake was named Georgia State University’s eighth president in June 2021. He came to Georgia State after serving over six years combined as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at George Washington University and Drexel University. His research has received more than $12 million in funding, and he is an author of more than 200 scholarly publications in the areas of software engineering and internet computing. The first Black president in the university’s 114-year history, Blake is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2024. Blake grew up in Savannah and attended Benedictine Military Academy. He and his wife, Bridget, have two sons, Brendan and Bryce.

EDUCATION Georgia Tech, Mercer (MA), George Mason University (PhD)
FIRST JOB My first full-time role was a software engineer at Lockheed Martin.
BUCKET LIST Trip to Scotland to explore the wonders of single malt

Atlanta 500: Ángel Cabrera

Ángel Cabrera
Georgia Institute of Technology

In 2019 Ángel Cabrera became the 12th president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, one of the leading and most research-intense public universities in the nation. During his first year as president, he steered the institution through the Covid-19 pandemic and produced a new strategic plan focused on impact, access, and inclusive innovation. Previously Cabrera served a seven-year stint as president of George Mason University. From 2004 to 2012 he was president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which is now part of Arizona State University. 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)

Atlanta 500: Gregory L. Fenves

Gregory L. Fenves
Emory University

In 2020 Gregory L. Fenves became the 21st president of Emory University, joining the school from the University of Texas at Austin, where he had served as president for the previous five years. During Fenves’s 12 years in leadership at UT Austin, including a stint as dean of the engineering school, the university recruited world-class faculty while retaining an impressive network of current faculty, broadened cross-disciplinary research, and significantly increased extramural research funding. As president, Fenves strengthened graduate education and resources; 48 graduate programs at UT Austin are now ranked in the top 10 nationally.

EDUCATION Cornell University, University of California, Berkeley (MS, PhD)
FIRST JOB My first real job was as a computer programmer in 1974, back when computers took up the entire room.
FAVORITE ATLANTA PODCAST Buried Truths on WABE, hosted by Emory’s own Hank Klibanoff

Atlanta 500 George T. French Jr.

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 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 three-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 Clark Atlanta University has exponentially exceeded all fundraising records in the history of the university; maintained stable enrollment in the midst of the global pandemic; and developed corporate and community relationships to position the university for unprecedented growth. His awards include Birmingham Spotlight Man of the Year, NAACP Man of the Year, and the Higher Education Leadership Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Atlanta 500 Helene D. Gayle, MDHelene D. Gayle, MD

Spelman College

Helene D. Gayle was named Spelman College’s 11th president in July 2022. She previously served as president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. No stranger to Atlanta, for almost a decade, Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, an international humanitarian organization and began her career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where she served for 20 years. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, and the Council on Foreign Relations. A tenured professor in the department of environmental and health sciences at Spelman College, Gayle has received 18 honorary degrees.

EDUCATION Barnard College, University of Pennsylvania (MD), Johns Hopkins University (MPH)
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS White House Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States (2023), Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2013), Chicago Mayor’s Medal of Honor for her work on Covid-19 relief and recovery for the city (2021), Peace Corps’ Franklin H. Williams Director’s Award (2021), Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award (2012)

Atlanta 500: Dan Immergluck

Photograph courtesy of individual

Dan Immergluck
Professor, Urban Studies Institute
Georgia State University

Dan Immergluck, a professor in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, is the author of five books, more than 120 journal articles, book chapters, and 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. His latest book is Red Hot City Housing, Race, and Exclusion in Twenty-First Century 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.

Atlanta 500 Kevin James

Kevin James
Morris Brown College

In 2020, Kevin James became president of Morris Brown College, a historically Black college founded in 1881, where he had been interim president since 2019. James, the college’s 19th president, is responsible for the leadership and management of all aspects of college operations and for the college’s strategic direction. A native of Columbia, South Carolina, James has served in various executive-level roles in higher education and within the nonprofit sector. Immediately prior to joining Morris Brown, he was interim CEO of 100 Black Men of America, whose mission is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans. Additionally, James was named an Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO in 2023.

EDUCATION South Carolina State University, Winthrop University, Troy University (MS), Nova Southeastern University (EdD)
FIRST JOB Cook at McDonald’s
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED If possible, find a way to say yes.

Atlanta 500 Michael L. LomaxMichael L. Lomax
President and CEO

Since 2004, Dr. Michael L. Lomax has served as president and CEO of UNCF, the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students. Under his leadership, UNCF has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 110,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, UNCF’s work enables 60,000 students to go to college with UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically black colleges and universities. Before joining UNCF, Dr. Lomax was president of Dillard University in New Orleans and a literature professor at UNCF-member institutions Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He also founded the National Black Arts Festival, was a founding member of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and served as chairman of the Fulton County Commission in Atlanta, the first African American elected to that post.

EDUCATION Morehouse College, Columbia University (MA), Emory University (PhD)
NONPROFITS Lomax serves on the boards of the KIPP Foundation, America’s Promise, Teach for America, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Atlanta 500 Linda A. McCauley

Linda A. McCauley
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University

A global leader in environmental health, Linda A. McCauley is the dean of Emory University’s Woodruff School of Nursing. For decades, McCauley has spearheaded innovative research on children’s environmental health, vulnerable workers and occupational health, environmental justice, and the impact of climate change on human health. In 2020, McCauley joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and was named an honorary fellow in the Royal Academy of Nursing. She was also elected to serve on the National Academy of Medicine’s Governing Council.

EDUCATION University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (MSN), University of Cincinnati (PhD)
INSPIRING PERSON My mother was a nurse and I grew up seeing how her work was such a defining factor of who she was.

Atlanta 500: Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD

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. In 2022 Montgomery Rice was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.

EDUCATION Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School (MD)
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)

Atlanta 500: Jere W. Morehead

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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.

Atlanta 500 Justine Norman BoydJustine Norman Boyd
Assistant Vice President
Regional Development

Prior to joining UNCF in 2014, Boyd was president of her own nonprofit consulting firm. She has served as CEO of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, vice chair of the Atlanta Housing Authority, and president of the Atlanta Fulton County League of Women’s Voters. She was appointed by Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox to the Georgia Voting Commission and is a former chair of the UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Advisory Board, a former member of the Georgia 4-H Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America Atlanta Area Council, the Coalition of 100 Black Women Advisory Board (Chair), the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is a lifetime member of the NAACP, the APEX Museum, the Atlanta Business League, and a Junior League sustainer.

EDUCATION Georgia State University
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS Some of her most recent awards include the 2011 Atlanta Dream Inspiring Woman Award presented by SunTrust; 2011 High Heels in High Places from the Trumpet Awards Foundation; 2009 Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys FOUNDATIONS Zenith Award for Distinction in the Profession

Atlanta 500: Loretta Parham

Loretta Parham
CEO and Director
Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Loretta Parham is the CEO and library director at Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, shared by Clark Atlanta University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. Under Parham’s leadership, the library received the Association of College & Research Libraries’ 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award, and in 2017 Parham was honored as ACRL’s Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. With more than 30 years of experience in the field, Parham has also been director of the library at Virginia’s Hampton University, deputy director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and district chief of the Chicago Public Library.

EDUCATION Wittenberg University, Southern Illinois University, University of Michigan (MLIS)
HOMETOWN Cleveland, Ohio

Atlanta 500 Kathy “Kat” SchwaigKathy “Kat” Schwaig

Kennesaw State University

Kat Schwaig was named the sixth president of Kennesaw State University (KSU) in March 2022, following her tenure as interim president. Under Schwaig’s leadership as president, KSU has embarked on a comprehensive student success initiative, established new graduate degrees for in-demand fields such as financial technologies and computer science, formalized a targeted strategy for enrollment growth, created a dynamic campus communication plan, and impactfully invested in the university’s research infrastructure. Schwaig is also a professor of information systems, where her research focuses on the strategic and ethical implications of computer technology. Additionally, Schwaig is the proud mom of her middle school daughter, Emma Grace.

EDUCATION Baylor University (MBA), Johns Hopkins University (MLA), University of South Carolina (PhD)
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS Cobb Chamber of Commerce Mack Henderson Public Service Award (2023), Oscar Burnett Award for Distinguished Achievement in Business from the Morris Brown College Foundation, the Cobb Executive Women’s Glass Ceiling Award, and Atlanta magazine’s Women Making a Mark Award

Atlanta 500: Victoria Seals

Victoria Seals
Atlanta Technical College

Victoria Seals became the sixth president of Atlanta Technical College in 2016. Under her leadership, the college has established effective industry partnerships and student success initiatives—boasting a 98 percent job placement rate. Her service and leadership were recognized in 2020 by the Association of Community College Trustees, who named her Southern Region CEO of the Year. The Atlanta Business Chronicle has twice recognized her as one of their Who’s Who in Education and as a Most Admired CEO in 2020. One of Atlanta Business League’s Top 100 Women of Influence, she has received the South Fulton Chamber Educator of the Year and the Year Up Atlanta Urban Empowerment Award. She has also been honored by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta.

EDUCATION Spelman College, University of Georgia (MA, EdS, EdD)
HOMETOWN Norwood, Georgia
HIDDEN TALENT I am a grill master.

Atlanta 500: Jagdish N. Sheth

Jagdish N. Sheth
Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Business
Emory University Goizueta Business School

Jagdish N. Sheth is the Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Business at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. The author or coauthor of numerous books and hundreds of scholarly papers, Sheth is known globally for his work in consumer behavior, relationship marketing, competitive strategy, and geopolitical analysis. He has over 50 years of combined experience in teaching and research, including at the University of Southern California, Columbia University, and MIT. Sheth and his wife, Madhu Sheth, established the Sheth Family Foundation to support charities in the U.S. and India. In 2020 Sheth received the Padma Bhushan award, one of the highest civilian honors bestowed by the Indian government.

EDUCATION Loyola College, University of Pittsburgh (MBA, PhD)
HOMETOWN Chennai, India
WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK I chose the field of marketing and consumer behavior because I was very interested in what motivated consumers to buy certain products and brands. I was also interested in globalization and the impact of geopolitical dynamics on markets, trade, and investments.

Atlanta 500: David A. Thomas

Photograph courtesy of individual

David A. Thomas
Morehouse College

In 2018 David A. Thomas became the 12th president of Morehouse College. Since his arrival, Thomas has overseen a fundraising acceleration which has generated more than $200 million—more than any other president in the history of the college. Additionally, Morehouse has expanded its profile as a national center for thought leadership on civil rights. With more than 30 years of experience in the business of higher education, Thomas has served as a professor and executive leader at mostly Ivy League institutions. In 2023 Georgia Trend included Thomas, who is a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, in its list of 100 Most Influential Georgians.

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.

Atlanta 500 Paula S. Wallace

Paula S. Wallace
President and Founder
Savannah College of Art and Design

Paula Wallace founded the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1978; and as president has led the university’s expansion to locations in Atlanta and Lacoste, France, and pioneered SCADnow, which provides virtual instruction. Wallace founded the university’s collaborative design studio, SCADpro, and leads one of the foremost community service studios, SCAD SERVE, which harnesses the university’s expertise to address the world’s most pressing social challenges. In 2021, with the opening of the Lofts of Pulaski in Savannah, SCAD SERVE provides affordable workforce housing for frontline workers in its community. Additionally, Wallace created the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, the world’s largest university-run film festival. Widely respected as an author, filmmaker, and podcast host, she is also the founder of four teaching museums including the SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta, and SCAD FASH Lacoste in France.

Atlanta 500 Leocadia I. Zak

Leocadia I. Zak
Agnes Scott College

Leocadia I. Zak was appointed the ninth president of Agnes Scott College in 2018. Under her leadership, the school has achieved record enrollment and fundraising, launched graduate programs and expanded graduate programs to include those with a focus on medical sciences, established the Sophomore Class Atlanta Leadership Experience (SCALE), and been recognized for six consecutive years as the most innovative liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Zak has an extensive background in international economic development and international project finance and served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University School of Law. In 2010 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

EDUCATION Mount Holyoke College, Northeastern University School of Law (JD)
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS Atlanta Business Chronicle Power 10 in Education (2023), YWCA of Greater Atlanta Academy of Women Achievers (2022)


Atlanta 500: Kevin Brown

Photograph courtesy of individual

Kevin Brown
President and CEO
Piedmont Healthcare

Kevin Brown joined Piedmont Healthcare as president and CEO in 2013. Through an operating model that places the patient at the center of decision-making, Piedmont has produced outcomes that rival some of the best in the country. Under Brown’s watch, Piedmont has frequently earned more A grades from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit industry watch dog that rates hospitals on quality, than any other system in Georgia. He has been an advocate of transparency. Piedmont was the second hospital system in the nation to publish unedited patient reviews on physician profiles. Since 2013, the Piedmont system has nearly quadrupled in size, now serving over 3.4 million Georgians in more than 1,400 locations across the state. During his tenure, net revenues have gone from $1.5 billion to an expected $6.5 billion in FY 2023. Piedmont has also provided $1.4 billion in uncompensated care and community benefit programming over the past five years. He serves on boards for the Buckhead Coalition, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, and Holy Innocents Episcopal School.

EDUCATION University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Arizona State University (MHSA)

Atlanta 500 Robert H. BunchRobert H. Bunch
Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia

Robert Bunch was named president of Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia in 2022. He had joined Anthem, Inc. in 2001 and most recently served as chief operating officer and chief client officer for Anthem National Accounts. Previously, he was the regional vice president of sales and account management, where he was responsible for profitable membership growth for the individual and small group market and the state of Georgia health benefit plan. Throughout his career at Anthem, Bunch has held various leadership positions including sales, account management, and product development; government and regulatory compliance; systems integration; and business migration activity, along with responsibility for various systems and application programming teams. Before coming to Anthem, Bunch was a consultant in the government and public services sector, working with multiple state Medicaid agencies. He also previously worked as an application programmer in the banking and credit card industries.

EDUCATION Columbus College, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University (MBA)

Atlanta 500: Carol H. Burrell

Carol H. Burrell
President and CEO
Northeast Georgia Health System

Under Carol Burrell’s leadership, Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, the system’s flagship hospital and one of the state’s five Level I trauma centers, has garnered state and national acclaim, including recognition by Healthgrades as one of the country’s 50 Best Hospitals. Burrell also led the construction of NGMC Braselton and the acquisition of NGMC Barrow. She has worked to save rural hospitals in Lumpkin and Habersham Counties. Georgia Trend named her its Most Respected Business Leader in 2017 and, for nine years in a row, has placed her on a list of 100 Most Influential Georgians.

EDUCATION Georgia Southern University, Emory University, Central Michigan University (MHA)
HOMETOWN Carl, Georgia
FIRST JOB Teaching private piano lessons
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED Sometimes in life, you are going to have to choose between doing something that will make people like you or respect you. Always choose respect.

Atlanta 500 Nkem Chukwumerije, MDNkem Chukwumerije, MD
President and Executive Medical Director
The Southeast Permanente Medical Group

Nkem Chukwumerije, MD, MPH, FACP, serves as president and executive medical director for the Southeast Permanente Medical Group (TSPMG). TSPMG is one of Georgia’s largest multi-specialty medical groups, with more than 800 clinicians caring for more than 315,000 Kaiser Permanente members. Services are delivered through a network of 27 medical offices and specialty centers and four contracted hospitals—Emory University Midtown, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital, Northside Hospital, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Chukwumerije also serves as national physician leader for equity, inclusion, and diversity for the Permanente Medical Groups. Dr. Chukwumerije has been active in leadership of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas and has also served as president of the University of Nigeria College of Medicine Alumni Association, North America.

EDUCATION University of Nigeria (MD), UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (MPH)
NONPROFITS Faith Alive USA and the Isuochi Progressive Union, organizations providing medical care and support to underserved areas of Nigeria

Atlanta 500: Carlos del Rio, MD

Carlos del Rio, MD
Interim Dean
Emory University School of Medicine
Interim chief academic officer
Emory Healthcare

Carlos del Rio is a distinguished professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and a professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. He serves as the executive associate dean of Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System. Additionally, del Rio is codirector of the Emory Center for AIDS Research and co-principal investigator of the Emory-CDC HIV Clinical Trials Unit and the Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit. In 2023, del Rio was appointed interim dean for Emory University School of Medicine and interim chief academic officer for Emory Healthcare. Del Rio serves as the international secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, chair of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board, and president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

EDUCATION Instituto Cumbres, Universidad La Salle (MD)
HOMETOWN Mexico City, Mexico
NONPROFIT Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Atlanta 500 Douglas Graham

Douglas Graham, MD, PhD
Chief, Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Douglas Graham is chief of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. A physician scientist with clinical expertise in the treatment of children with leukemia, he has been actively involved in the Children’s Oncology Group, and currently serves on the Acute Myeloid Leukemia Disease Steering Committee. He is immediate past president of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and also leads an active research laboratory focusing on developing novel therapeutics for pediatric cancer. Graham’s team has developed a new cancer drug that is now in early phase clinical trials at Emory University. As leader of the Aflac Cancer Center, Graham is committed to developing a comprehensive program that will provide outstanding clinical care for children in Georgia and throughout the Southeast. He is helping lead the recruitment of cancer and hematology researchers who will be able to directly impact the development of new treatments for pediatric hematology/oncology patients.

EDUCATION Wake Forest University, University of North Carolina (MD, PhD)
HOMETOWN Carthage, North Carolina

Atlanta 500 Andre GreenwoodAndre Greenwood
Market Lead, Georgia Interim CEO
Aetna Better Health of Georgia

Andre Greenwood serves as market leader and Georgia interim CEO for Aetna Better Health of Georgia, a diversified, multibillion-dollar healthcare enterprise that provides a portfolio of services to government-sponsored healthcare programs. Most recently, he held the role of chief operating officer at Aetna Better Health of Louisiana. He has significant experience in healthcare operations for both the insurance and provider sides of the industry. He previously held the role of vice president of Field Network Management at Centene Corporation. He led the network’s contracting and expansion strategies for Georgia, including identifying and cultivating strategic alliances and building new network models with over 35,000 provider organizations to ensure that the healthcare needs of Centene members were met. Prior to joining Centene he was executive director of Managed Care for WellStar Health System in Atlanta, where he was responsible for 11 hospitals and over 2,500 physicians. He has also held multiple leadership roles with WellCare of Georgia and Humana. Outside of professional interests, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Naima, and their daughters, Ava and Aubree.

EDUCATION Florida A&M University (BS), Georgia State University (MBA)

Atlanta 500: Gulshan Harjee, MD

Gulshan Harjee, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Clarkston Community Health Center

Gulshan Harjee is the chief medical officer at Clarkston Community Health Center, a nonprofit free health clinic serving the immigrant, refugee, and uninsured populations of metro Atlanta. Following three decades in private practice, Harjee cofounded CCHC in 2013 and committed herself to it fully in 2016. The clinic has since served more than 10,000 patients, provided free mammograms, insulin, and dental care to asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants, and offered educational experiences to hundreds of area medical and nursing students. Harjee oversees clinical operations and quality of care while forging new collaborations with medical training programs and spearheading a capital campaign. With a recent $2.5 million pledge from a Texas philanthropist, the center now plans to build a larger facility just south of Clarkston. Additionally, Harjee is a 2023 AARP Purpose Prize fellow and received $10,000 and a year of support from AARP to help broaden the scope of her work.

EDUCATION Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine (MD)
HOMETOWN I was raised on a sisal farm in a Karanga village of 500 about an hour from the town of Moshi, Tanzania.

Atlanta 500: John M. Haupert

Photograph courtesy of individual

John M. Haupert
Grady Health System

As 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. On the national level, Haupert served on the board of the American Hospital Association from 2018 to 2020 and became the chair in 2023. Also, in 2023, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named him one of the city’s Most Admired CEOs.

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, 2018-2019 board chair of the Georgia Hospital Association, former board chair of America’s Essential Hospitals

Atlanta 500: Monica A. HumMonica A. Hum, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Piedmont Rockdale Hospital

Monica Hum is a pioneering colorectal surgeon who became CEO of Piedmont Rockdale Hospital in 2023. She previously served as chief medical officer, successfully improving the hospital’s quality and safety scores. During her time as managing partner of ATL Colorectal Surgery, a specialized practice she founded in 2007, she was the first woman elected as president of the medical staff of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital dating to its founding in 1905. A native of New York, Hum began practicing in Atlanta in 2003 after fellowship training at the Cleveland Clinic Florida and general surgery residency at Saint Luke’s–Roosevelt Hospital.

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 in Atlanta to perform transanal endoscopic microsurgery in 2008 and first in Georgia to implant an Interstim sacral nerve stimulator for bowel leakage in 2011
WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK During my freshman year in college, my mother quit smoking. A year later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and died during my senior year.

Atlanta 500: Donna W. Hyland

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 Leadership books
FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION Places with mountains or beaches
WHAT I’D TELL A RECENT GRADUATE Try new experiences and push yourself to keep learning.

Atlanta 500 Kim H. Jones

Kim H. Jones
Executive Director
NAMI Georgia

As executive director, Kim Jones is responsible for the strategic management and financial operations of NAMI Georgia, a statewide nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of mental health. Since taking the helm in 2015, Jones has built stronger relationships with affiliates, leaders, and members throughout the state to support NAMI Georgia’s efforts to help families and individuals seeking recovery from mental illness. She is also a cofounder of the Georgia Mental Health Policy Partnership. Previously Jones was part of the senior-level management team of Goodwill of North Georgia. She has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, education, training, marketing, and business development, and served for more than eight years as a mayoral appointee to Dacula’s Planning and Zoning Board. In 2019 she was appointed by Speaker of the House David Ralston to the state’s Behavioral Health Reform and Innovation Commission, where she sits on the Hospital and Short-Term Stay Subcommittee.

EDUCATION University of Georgia
HOMETOWN Dunwoody, Georgia
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED What gets measured gets done.

Atlanta 500 Kathryn LawlerKathryn Lawler
Saint Joseph’s Health System

Kathryn Lawler is CEO of Saint Joseph’s Health System and Mercy Care, Atlanta’s federally qualified health center. She came to Saint Joseph’s Health System from the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI), where she had served as executive director since 2017. She is known for helping both health systems and local organizations remain agile and relevant in their service delivery. With a background that integrates strategic planning, partnerships, and policy, she is implementing a strategy that addresses both the direct needs of clients and communities and social determinants of health. She is also working with partners to complete affordable housing on the system’s Decatur Street campus.

EDUCATION University of Notre Dame, Harvard University’s J. F. Kennedy School of Government (MPP)
NONPROFITS Advisory positions include: Atlanta Neighborhood Development; Enterprise Community Partners, Southeastern Council of Advisors; Greenlight Fund, Atlanta Site Review Team; Hope Atlanta, Advisory Council; Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Atlanta Advisory Team

Atlanta 500 Joon S. Lee, MDJoon S. Lee, MD
Emory Healthcare

Joon S. Lee joined Emory Healthcare as the CEO in July 2023 after a 27-year career at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) as a clinician, clinical researcher, academic leader, and physician executive. While there, his scope of responsibility continuously increased, culminating in his position as the executive vice president, UPMC, and president, UPMC Physician Services. He was responsible for more than 5,200 employed physicians, including all clinical faculty of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and over 3,500 advanced practice providers. As a full-time faculty member, he served as the vice dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

EDUCATION Dartmouth College, Duke University School of Medicine (MD)
FIRST JOB Working in the assembly line of a wooden furniture factory without air conditioning in western North Carolina
WHY I CHOSE THIS WORK My father is a physician, which drove me to and made me wary of medicine at the same time. While my father’s profession had some influence, I was always interested in science.

Atlanta 500 Jayne Morgan, MDJayne Morgan, MD
Executive Director of Health and Community Education
Piedmont Healthcare
Owner and Creator
The Stairwell Chronicles

Jayne Morgan is a cardiologist and the executive director of Health and Community Education at Piedmont Healthcare, where she plays a pivotal role in addressing health literacy and disseminating information both within the organization and to external stakeholders. Widely recognized for her exceptional skills in interpreting complex medical data, Morgan created the popular social media series, The Stairwell Chronicles, through which she delivers scientific and medical information in a brief and easy-to-understand format to a multitude of followers. Previously, Morgan served as the executive director of the Covid Task Force at Piedmont Healthcare. A recognized medical expert for several media outlets including CNN and Scripps News, with over 500 media appearances in recent years, she is also an adjunct associate professor at Morehouse School of Medicine.

EDUCATION Spelman College, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MD)
FIRST JOB I was a Break Girl at Six Flags Over Georgia, filling in for people on ice cream carts during their breaks. Later, I got my own cart.
WHO’D PLAY ME IN A BIOPIC I should play myself. Or Zoe Saldana—she’s pretty good.

Atlanta 500 Sarah Morrison

Sarah A. Morrison
President and CEO
Shepherd Center

Sarah A. Morrison is 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. In 2022, Shepherd Center launched Pursuing Possible The Campaign for Shepherd Center, a $350 million campaign that will fund capital and programmatic projects to benefit patients and families experiencing spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological illnesses and injuries. The campaign is slated to continue through 2025, the same year as Shepherd Center’s 50th anniversary.

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.

Atlanta 500 Myron Keith PhillipsMyron Keith Phillips
Director of Operations
Centene Corporation

As director of operations for Centene Corporation, a healthcare enterprise, Myron Keith Phillips manages a team of 10 managers and 25 supervisors to support Marketplace, Medicaid, and Medicare lines of business. Additionally, Phillips oversees five facilities in Atlanta; Little Rock, Arkansas; San Antonio, Texas; Tucson/Tempe, Arizona; and Orlando, Florida. He established the company’s first bilingual, 120-seat affordable care call center in Orlando.

EDUCATION Florida A&M University
FEW PEOPLE KNOW I was a professional roller skater.
BUCKET LIST Almost ready to retire! Once that happens, hopefully I’ll get more involved with my fraternity and get hired by the Atlanta Hawks to welcome fans to the game. That would be my dream come true after-retirement activity.

Atlanta 500: Robert Quattrocchi

Robert Quattrocchi
President and CEO
Northside Hospital

Robert Quattrocchi is president and CEO of the Northside Hospital health system, which provides care to nearly 5.2 million patients annually; Quattrocchi oversees a system reaching across 25 counties with five acute-care hospitals, over 275 outpatient facilities, 3,700 providers, and 25,000 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 2019 Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards. He was also one of the best CEOs for diversity in 2022, ranked by employees of color across large companies, on the career website Comparably. 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.

Atlanta 500 Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD

Suresh S. Ramalingam, MD
Executive Director
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Dr. Suresh Ramalingam serves as executive director of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Ramalingam is past president of the Georgia Society of Oncology and a member of the board of Georgia CORE. He is a fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar. The Chennai, India, native’s present research involves developing immune checkpoint inhibitors and improving outcomes for patients with EGFR mutation. He has authored more than 350 scientific publications. He serves as editor-in-chief of Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

EDUCATION Kilpauk Medical College, India (MBBS)
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS Developed new treatment options for lung cancer
LESSON LEARNED No success is everlasting, and no setback is permanent.
NONPROFIT India Literacy Project

Atlanta 500: Candice L. Saunders

Photograph courtesy of individual

Candice L. Saunders
President and CEO
WellStar Health System

Candice L. Saunders is president and CEO of Marietta-based Wellstar Health System. Saunders has led the nonprofit health system to reinvest strategically in the communities it serves by providing charity care; developing a pipeline of nurses and physicians; cultivating and retaining local talent to serve local communities; and developing state-of-the-art facilities. Working with the University System of Georgia, in 2023, Augusta University Health System, now called Wellstar MCG Health, joined Wellstar. The partnership will create increased opportunities to further expand the pipeline of clinicians and provide more Georgians with access to expert care.

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, Atlanta Business Chronicle Most People-Focused CEO (2022), Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Women Leaders (2019), Georgia Hospital Association W. Daniel Barker Leadership Award (2017), National Association of Female Executives Healthcare Champion (2015)

Atlanta 500 Pam ShipleyPam Shipley
Regional President
Kaiser Permanente Georgia

Pam Shipley is regional president of Kaiser Permanente Georgia. In this role, Shipley oversees all aspects of the care delivery and health plan operations in Georgia. The Georgia region operates 27 medical centers and has more than 319,980 members.
Shipley joined Kaiser Permanente in January 2022 from Sharecare, Inc., where she served as chief operating officer. Prior to Sharecare, Shipley had a 12-year career with Centene Corporation, where she served in various operating and enterprise roles, including senior vice president with oversight of more than 15 markets. Earlier in her career, Shipley spent five years with UnitedHealthcare in several roles including national network manager and was interim chief information officer at Health Partners Plans in Pennsylvania. Shipley is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2024.

EDUCATION Chestnut Hill College
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO (2023)

Atlanta 500 Bassam Tomeh

Bassam Tomeh, MD
First Medical Care

Bassam Tomeh became the CEO of First Medical Care after acquiring the practice from his mentor, Dr. Gulshan Harjee. Tomeh, whose practice serves refugees and immigrants from Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries with cultural sensitivity and care, has a special interest in disease prevention and primary care for ages 15 and up. An Atlanta native, Tomeh serves as an active voting member on the Emory Healthcare Board of Managers and DeKalb Physicians Hospital Organization board and is an active member and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the National Arab American Medical Association. He was an assistant professor at Mercer University School of Medicine.

EDUCATION Emory University, Medical College of Georgia (MD)
INSPIRING PEOPLE My father, Dr. Mohammed Tomeh, and Dr. Gulshan Harjee. These two invaluable public servants taught me that it is vitally important to be an active part of our patients’ lives and that compassion and commitment should be foremost.
NONPROFITS Al Farooq Masid of Atlanta and RAKSHA, which advocates for the South Asian community

Atlanta 500: Kathleen Toomey

Kathleen E. Toomey, MD
Commissioner and State Health Officer
Georgia Department of Public Health

As commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, Kathleen E. Toomey oversees 159 county health departments in 18 health districts and has helped lead the response to the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia, fostering critical partnerships with hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare organizations, business leaders, the agricultural community, and statewide public health and community organizations. Formerly, she was director of Fulton County’s Department of Health and Wellness. She is an epidemiologist and board-certified family practitioner with a long career in national and global public health, including a stint as Botswana country director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

EDUCATION Smith College, Harvard Medical School (MD), Harvard School of Public Health (MPH)

Atlanta 500 Jonathan WatkinsJonathan Watkins
President and CEO
City of Hope Atlanta

Jonathan Watkins joined Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Atlanta, now City of Hope Atlanta, in 2019. In his role, Watkins provides strategic guidance for the hospital while working closely with leadership across the City of Hope Comprehensive Care Network. In 2022, Watkins played a pivotal role as CTCA and City of Hope joined forces to build a national, integrated cancer research and treatment system with a focus on democratizing cancer care. Prior to joining City of Hope, Watkins served as CEO at Broward Health Imperial Point, a 200-bed acute care facility in Broward County, Florida. He serves on the board of directors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber.

EDUCATION Tennessee State University (MPA)


James Curran, MD
Curran was formerly dean of Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Previously, he spent 25 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 cases of 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. In 2009, the Rollins School’s dean of public health position was named in his honor.

Walter J. Curran Jr., MD
Curran is the former executive director of Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, the first and only cancer center in Georgia designated by the National Cancer Institute; Curran was also the first radiation oncologist to serve as director of an NCI-designated cancer center.

William Foege, MD, MPH
Considered a titan of epidemiology, Foege was instrumental in the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. At Emory University, he holds the title of Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus 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.

Alana Shepherd
Shepherd and her 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, Sullivan was president of Morehouse School of Medicine for more than 20 years. He also founded the Sullivan Alliance (now part of the Association of American Medical Colleges), which aims to increase the numbers of ethnic and racial minorities in health care, and is chairman of the Georgia Global Health Alliance.

Beverly Tatum
A noted scholar, teacher, author, administrator, and race relations expert, Tatum was the ninth president of Spelman College. 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.

Comer Yates
A champion of education and literacy, Emory Law graduate and former high school teacher Yates has served since 1998 as executive director of the Atlanta Speech School.