Yale School of Management

Major Gift Endows Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health at Yale

Robert C. Pozen
Robert C. Pozen

Robert C. Pozen, a graduate of Yale Law School and a prominent business leader, public servant, philanthropist, and thinker, has made a generous gift to endow the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Leadership at Yale, the Yale School of Management announced. 

The fellowship, which will now be known as the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Leadership at Yale, was created to give healthcare practitioners the leadership skills and the deep understanding of teams, markets, and organizations necessary to tackle major inequities in the U.S. healthcare system. Each year, it will cover the full tuition costs for three healthcare practitioners with a demonstrated interest in improving minority health to enter Yale SOM’s MBA for Executives program. Over 22 months, they will complete an MBA degree with a focus in healthcare while receiving specialized training and mentoring from experts on disparities in healthcare. The first three Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellows will enter the program in July.

The Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship is directed by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine; Dr. Howard Forman, director of the healthcare focus area of the MBA for Executives program, serves as senior adviser to the fellowship.

Pozen received a JD in 1972 from Yale Law School, where he was on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal. He is the former president of Fidelity Investments and former executive chairman of MFS Investment Management. His service in the public sector includes positions as associate general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission, chairman of the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Financial Reporting, member of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security, and secretary of economic affairs for the state of Massachusetts. He has taught at Georgetown, NYU, Harvard, and MIT, and has written seven books and many articles on finance and business, and has served on the boards of several companies and nonprofit organizations. For nearly two decades, he served as a member of the board of directors of the Commonwealth Fund, where he is now an honorary trustee. 

An active Yale alumnus, Pozen has previously endowed an entrepreneur award at Yale SOM, a fellowship at Yale Law School, and an undergraduate scholarship at Yale College. 

Pozen said: “The Commonwealth Fund has a long history of awarding fellowships to healthcare practitioners, who have gone on to lead important initiatives. I’m sure this partnership with Yale SOM will train talented individuals, who will develop innovative approaches to addressing racial and economic disparities in healthcare. I’m proud to help make this new partnership sustainable for the long term.”

Yale SOM Dean Edward A. Snyder stated, “It is gratifying to see this program begin with such remarkable momentum. As the first three Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellows arrive on campus, the support of Bob Pozen, an outstanding citizen of Yale, is a vote of confidence for the potential impact of this program.”

Deputy Dean David Bach, who oversees the MBA for Executives program, commented, “Bob Pozen’s amazing career has demonstrated an astute understanding of the workings of business and government and their interaction, as well as a deep commitment to making the world a better place. While he got his degree a few blocks away at Yale Law School, his career path and his philanthropic efforts show that he shares the cross-sectoral approach embodied in Yale SOM’s mission to educate leaders for business and society. We are grateful for his gift and thrilled that he agrees that the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship can help bring about the systemic change needed to reduce disparities in health access and outcomes.”

Commonwealth Fund president David Blumenthal, MD, said that Pozen’s gift would help promote the organization’s longstanding mission to improve healthcare for society’s most vulnerable: “Throughout its history, The Commonwealth Fund has been committed to advancing minority leaders in health care. We are delighted to partner with our colleague and friend, Bob Pozen, to bring this important program to Yale University and train the next generation of leaders.”

From left, Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellows Crystal Yates, Cecelia Calhoun, and Kennetha Gaines
From left, Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellows Crystal Yates, Cecelia Calhoun, and Kennetha Gaines

The inaugural Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellows, who will begin the MBA for Executives program orientation on July 12, have each already made significant impacts on healthcare in their communities. Cecelia Calhoun, MD, MPHS, is a pediatric hematologist at Washington University School of Medicine whose research has focused on improving outcomes for patients with sickle cell disease. Kennetha Gaines, RN, MA, MSN, CNL, PHN, CLEC, serves as senior director of maternal child health, medical surgical, and telemetry and rehab at Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles, which she helped reopen in 2015. Crystal Yates oversees Philadelphia’s emergency medical services as deputy commissioner of the city’s fire department, and helps lead a citywide project to address the opioid crisis.