Donna Shalala is president and CEO of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. From 1993 to 2001, she served as US secretary of health and human services. Shalala joined the Inter-American Dialogue as a member in 2001.
Prior to heading the Clinton Foundation, Shalala was president of the University of Miami. She has a long history in academia, having previously taught politics at Baruch College and Columbia University’s Teachers College. Shalala also served as president of Hunter College from 1980 to 1987 and as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison from 1987 to 1993.
Shalala’s career in public service began under the Carter administration in 1977, when she was appointed assistant secretary for policy development and research at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Shalala has more than four dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors, including the 1992 National Public Service Award and the 1994 Glamour magazine Woman of the Year Award. In 1992 BusinessWeek named her one of the top five managers in higher education and in 2005, US News & World Report named her one of “America’s Best Leaders.” President George W. Bush presented Shalala with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 2008 and in 2010, she received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights, which recognizes individuals for outstanding dedication to improving the health and life chances of disadvantaged populations in South Africa and internationally.
In 2011, Shalala was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, and in 2014 she was recognized by the Harry S. Truman Library with the Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award and received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor, the Sand in My Shoes Award, for her significant contributions to the community.
One of the most honored academics of her generation, Shalala has been elected to seven national academies: National Academy of Education; the National Academy of Public Administration; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Philosophical Society; the National Academy of Social Insurance; the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.