Chief Executive Leadership Institute Honors Donna E. Shalala, Former University of Miami President

Donna E. Shalala, the former President of the University of Miami; president of the Clinton Foundation; and the 18th U.S. secretary of health and human services, accepted the Legend in Leadership Award for Higher Education of Yale SOM’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute at a ceremony held at its 90th forum on February 28 at the Yale School of Management. 

The Legend in Leadership Award for Higher Education was presented to Shalala by Diana Chapman Walsh, president emerita of Wellesley College and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus of George Washington University.

Summit organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management, commented: “Donna Shalala has been an inspiring, highly accomplished, and revered leader across sectors, political parties, generations, and communities. In each institution she has led, she has profoundly enhanced its performance, its integrity, and its educational vitality. She has also been one of the greatest mentors developing platoons of rising leadership talent.”

Donna Shalala’s long, illustrious career has included heading Hunter College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Miami, where she was the first female president. She leads the Clinton Foundation and has led the Children’s Defense Fund, as well as serving as the 18th secretary of health and human services under President Bill Clinton. During her tenure at the University of Miami, Shalala was responsible for raising the average freshman SAT score by more than 100 points, raising $3 billion in funding, and drawing star researchers to raise the university’s profile. Before her time, the University of Miami was ranked 67th in the U.S. New and World Report rankings; it moved into the magazine’s top 50 by the time she resigned.
The Higher Education Summit’s theme was “Winning Back Hearts & Minds: Leading Higher Education Beyond the Bubble.” Distinguished higher education presidents and board chairs from across the U.S. gathered to engage in candid discussions at the invitation-only leaders’ conference hosted by the Yale School of Management.  

Additional summit participants included Michael Eisenson, chair of the Board of Trustees, Williams College; Adam Falk, president of Williams College; R. Barbara Gitenstein, president of the College of New Jersey; Philip Hanlon, president of Dartmouth College; Liz McMillen, editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education; Robert Millard, chairman of the MIT Corporation; Robert Post, dean of Yale Law School; Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan University; Mark Schlissel of the University of Michigan; and Thomas Spock, chair of the Board of Managers, Swarthmore College.

The conference partners were TIAA and the Chronicle of Higher Education