April 28, 2014 - Seattle/Geneva - Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the new chief executive officer of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation assumes her role on May 1, 2014. Her appointment was first announced in December 2013.
An oncologist by training, Desmond-Hellmann is a recognized leader on issues of higher education, public health, drug development, regulatory innovation and health policy. She has led University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) since August 2009, when she became the first woman to serve as the university’s chancellor, overseeing all aspects of the university and medical center’s strategy, academic programs and operations. She has extensive experience in product development, and a deep understanding of how to bridge applied research to delivery of product. Prior to her tenure at UCSF, she was President of Product Development at Genentech, where she led the development and introduction of two of the first gene-targeted therapies for cancer, Avastin and Herceptin.
Desmond-Hellmann also served as a member of Genentech’s executive committee, beginning in 1996. She sits on the boards of directors of Procter and Gamble and Facebook, and was previously a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council.