An expert on health, global development and humanitarian issues, Dr. Helene D. Gayle is the inaugural CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit organization that brings together various stakeholders to initiate global social changes. The McKinsey Social Initiative’s first program, Generation, improves career prospects for young adults, striving to match one million young adults in jobs within five years. Generation currently operates in India, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and the United States.
Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. She earned her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a masters of public health from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her residency training in pediatric medicine at Children’s National Medical Center and is board certified in pediatrics.
She is the former CEO and president of CARE USA, an international humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting global poverty. Prior to joining CARE, Dr. Gayle spent twenty years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where her work concentrated on fighting HIV/AIDS. She was appointed the first director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Sexual Transmitted Diseases and Tuberculosis Prevention and attained the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. She later directed the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gayle serves on the boards of the Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, the Rockefeller Foundation, ONE, the Colgate-Palmolive Company and the Coca Cola Company. She chaired Barack Obama's advisory council on HIV/AIDS, and is on the Presidential Commission on White House Fellowships. Gayle has been named one of Forbes most powerful women in the world. Foreign Policy magazine recognized her as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and Newsweek listed her as one of the top ten “Women in Leadership.”