Famed for: President and CEO of CARE USA, a member of CARE International (a leading humanitarian aid organization fighting global poverty)
About: Helene Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and went on to earn an impressive number of degrees including a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. She is also board certified in pediatrics, completing a residency in pediatric medicine at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Fully engrossed in the fight for equal healthcare, Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS. She was then appointed as the first director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. With CARE, Gayle has made women’s health rights a priority, CARE now seeks to improve access to safe pregnancy and delivery services for 30 million women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by 2015. A CARE program called “Power Within” focuses on girls’ education, seeking to empower 10 million girls around the world to access quality primary education and gain leadership skills by 2015. Gayle has been called one of the top female leaders and global thinkers in the world and as of 2014, she is listed as the 78th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Quote: “I always knew that I wanted to do the most that I could for the most people.”
Contributor: Phoebe Roe