Spelman College President Helene Gayle Honored for Her Philanthropic Work

Helene Gayle, president of historically Black Spelman College, the highly selective women’s college in Atlanta, received the 2023 Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, in recognition of her leadership in philanthropy and efforts to advance gender and racial equity.

The Shaw-Hardy Taylor Achievement Award recognizes philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, change agents, fundraisers, and researchers who have moved women’s philanthropy forward and demonstrated significant impact on the field. The award has been presented triennially since 2008.

“As a physician whose career has spanned public health, global poverty alleviation, and community economic development, I am committed to using my skills to help contribute to greater social justice and equity in our country and our world,” said Dr. Helene Gayle. “I’m honored to receive this award and excited about philanthropy’s role in addressing the multiple, interconnected issues that perpetuate inequities in our society.”

Before becoming president of Spelman College in July 2022, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations. She held this post since 2017. Earlier, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. A public health physician with expertise in economic development, humanitarian and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Barnard College in New York City and a medical doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a master of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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