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Donna Shalala

The Honorable Donna E. Shalala, Ph.D.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Since 1993, Secretary Shalala has led the Department's efforts to reform the Nation's welfare system and improve health care while containing health costs. Under her direction, the Department has reduced the number of welfare recipients, guided the approval of the children's Health Insurance Plan, raised child immunization rates to the highest levels in history, led the fight against youth use of tobacco, and crusaded for better access and better medication to treat AIDS. For more than a decade, Secretary Shalala served on the board of the Children's Defense Fund, becoming chair in 1992. As chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1988 to 1993, she was the first woman to head a "Big 10" university. Before that, she served for 8 years as president of Hunter College at the City University of New York and as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, CUNY, and the University of Wisconsin. From 1975 to 1977, she served as director and treasurer of the Municipal Assistance Corporation, the organization that helped reverse New York State's financial collapse. She has been a director of the American Stock Exchange, TIAA-CREF, and M and I Bank of Wisconsin. As a member of the Committee for Economic Development, she contributed to bipartisan reports on the health, welfare, and educational needs of our Nation's youngest children. Secretary Shalala received a doctorate from Syracuse University and a bachelors from Western College for Women.

Date Created: July 8, 2020