Skip to main content

Return to Previous Page

Doris Duke Foundation Appoints Dr. Rochelle Walensky to Board of Trustees

New York – May 7, 2024 - The Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) proudly announces the appointment of Rochelle Walensky, M.D., MPH, to its board of trustees. Dr. Walensky brings a wealth of expertise and a distinguished record of service in public health, infectious diseases and medical research to the foundation. 

Dr. Walensky served as the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 2021 to 2023. In this role, she led the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic with a multifaceted approach encompassing communication, policy formulation and scientific guidance. Her exceptional ability to communicate complex scientific information to the public, formulate effective policies and guide the nation's scientific response demonstrated her remarkable leadership and expertise in navigating unprecedented challenges. 

A respected clinician and researcher, Dr. Walensky's career has been marked by a commitment to improving clinical and economic outcomes through evidence-based decision-making and the promotion of global access to HIV prevention, screening and care. Her groundbreaking research, which spans over 300 publications, has not only influenced HIV policy and funding but has also informed critical revisions to HIV testing, treatment and immigration policies in the United States and abroad. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Rochelle Walensky to the Doris Duke Foundation's board of trustees,” said Sam Gill, president and CEO of DDF. “Not only is Dr. Walensky one of the most distinguished physicians and public health leaders of our time, she also has a passionate vision for the future of medicine and health. And, as a former recipient of Doris Duke Foundation funding, she’s one of our own—a testament to the power of Doris Duke’s legacy, when properly applied, to shape our society for the better.” 

“Dr. Rochelle Walensky epitomizes exceptional dedication to public health and medical research,” said William H. Wright II, Doris Duke Foundation board chair. “Her distinguished career, characterized by a commitment to evidence-based decision-making and global health equity, perfectly aligns with our foundation's mission to foster a more equitable and sustainable future. We are confident that her insights and expertise will greatly enhance our philanthropic initiatives.” 

“I couldn’t be more delighted to re-join the DDF family that has been so wonderful to me. DDF supported me at a critical and vulnerable point in my career as a physician scientist, and I am personally and keenly aware of how its work can be transformational,” said Dr. Walensky. “I so look forward to paying it forward and giving back to the foundation in my new role.” 

Walensky's extensive academic background includes serving as a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and as chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations, and her contributions to public health have been recognized through numerous awards and honors. 

Dr. Walensky received her bachelor’s in biochemistry and molecular biology from Washington University in St. Louis, her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and her Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her residency in internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and her fellowship in infectious disease at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital combined program. 

About the Doris Duke Foundation 
The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) is to build a more creative, equitable and sustainable future by investing in artists and the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, child well-being and greater mutual understanding among diverse communities. Visit to learn more. 

Contact: Doris Duke Foundation Press Room