December 4, 2000
Donna E. Shalala, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, has recently been named next president of the University of Miami.
Shalala’s diverse background as a scholar, educator, and administrator makes her uniquely qualified to discuss various issues. President Gearan said the Secretary’s visit was structured to allow the Colleges’ community to take advantage of her areas of expertise. Areas that the panel is expected to discuss includes: leading education institutions in the 21st century, international education, the U.S. Peace Corps and service, child welfare and expanding health insurance, women in leadership roles, poverty and welfare reform, and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Earlier this month Shalala was named president of the University of Miami, a position she will begin June 1, 2001. The move returns her to the field of higher education. From 1987-1993, Shalala served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the first woman to head a Big Ten University. In her nearly eight years as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Shalala has overseen some of this country’s most important initiatives including directing the federal welfare reform process and extending the life of the Medicare Trust Fund.
Shalala has held a number of other senior level academic and government positions. She served as president of Hunter College, City University of New York, from 1980-1987 and as assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Carter Administration. From 1975-1977, she served as treasurer of New York City’s Municipal Assistance Corporation. She is an acknowledged scholar of government and health care policy, having earned her Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1970. She has held professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the University of Wisconsin. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran.