Helene D. Gayle has been president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, since October 2017. Under her leadership, the Trust has adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region.
For almost a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian, and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gayle also worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues. In addition, she launched the McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit that builds partnerships for social impact.
Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and an MPH at Johns Hopkins University. She has received 18 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
Dr. Gayle serves on many public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Go Health, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, ONE Campaign, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Economic Club of Chicago. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health Association, National Academy of Medicine, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Gayle has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and social justice.