Your zip code is a better predictor of your health than your genetic code.
Dr. Bourla on the importance of a healthy workforce to a healthy economy and the role society plays in public health.
Dr. Albert Bourla
As Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla leads Pfizer in its purpose, Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives, with a focus on driving the scientific and commercial innovation needed to have a transformational impact on human health. During his more than 25 years at Pfizer, Albert has built a diverse and successful career, holding several senior positions across a range of markets and disciplines. The global nature of his work – having lived and worked in eight different cities and led teams across five continents – has informed his understanding of the needs of patients and healthcare systems around the world and deepened his commitment to helping ensure equitable access to medicines and vaccines. When he took the reins as CEO in January 2019, Albert accelerated Pfizer’s transformation to become a more science-driven, innovative company – divesting its consumer and off-patent products businesses and dramatically increasing its R&D and digital innovation budgets. To create a culture in which the company’s people and science could thrive, Albert and his leadership team established Pfizer’s Purpose Blueprint, which included four core values: courage, excellence, equity and joy. A powerful example of Pfizer’s capabilities and culture was seen in the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Refusing to accept public funding and instead investing more than $2 billion dollars at-risk, Albert inspired colleagues to deliver a safe and effective vaccine in just eight months – a process that typically take 8-10 years – without compromising quality or integrity. A year later, continuing to move at the speed of science, Pfizer delivered the first FDA-authorized oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 by implementing the same sense of urgency and new ways of working that had made the vaccine program so successful. The company is now applying many of these “lightspeed” principles to projects across a wide range of therapeutic areas, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory conditions and more. Under Albert’s leadership, Pfizer also has further strengthened its commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles. This includes issuing the biopharmaceutical industry’s first Sustainability Bond addressing capital investments in both environmental and social initiatives; launching the company’s first ESG report; and completing an extensive priority issue assessment to confirm where and how Pfizer can have the greatest long-term impact. Albert is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and holds a Ph.D. in the Biotechnology of Reproduction from the Veterinary School of Aristotle University. In January 2022, he was named the 2022 Genesis Prize Laureate in recognition of his leadership during the pandemic. In 2021, he was named CEO of the Year by CNN Business, included in Insider Magazine’s Most Transformative CEOs list, and inducted into the Crain’s New York Business 2021 Hall of Fame. That same year, he received the Appeal of Conscience Award in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in service of the global community and The Atlantic Council’s Distinguished Business Leadership Award for his and Pfizer’s work on the COVID-19 vaccine. Albert is chairman of The Pfizer Foundation. He is on the executive committee of The Partnership for New York City, a vice president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, a director on multiple boards—Pfizer Inc., PhRMA and Catalyst—and a trustee of the United States Council for International Business. In addition, Albert is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Business Roundtable, the Business Council and the New York City Mayor’s Corporate Council.
Dr. Helene D. Gayle
Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., began serving as the 11th president of Spelman College on July 1, 2022. Dr. Gayle previously served as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, from October 2017 to June 2022. Under her leadership, the Trust 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. A pediatrician and public health physician with expertise in economic development, humanitarian, and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She led the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues. Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America and the ONE Campaign. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health Association, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics. She was awarded the Chicago Mayor’s Medal of Honor for her work on COVID relief and recovery for the city. Named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women” and one of NonProfit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50,” she has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and wealth inequity. Dr. Gayle is from Buffalo, N.Y. She earned 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 a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Environmental and Health Sciences at Spelman College and has received 18 honorary degrees. She also holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University. Dr. Gayle is married to Stephen Keith, MD, the First Gentleman of Spelman College and a proud Spelman dad.