The Hon. Donna Shalala

Donna Shalala served as U.S. representative for Florida's 27th Congressional District from 2019-2021. Previously, Shalala had served as the United States secretary of health and human services under President Bill Clinton from 1993-2001, the longest serving HHS secretary and the first Lebanese-American to serve in a Cabinet position.

Shalala was born February 14, 1941, in Cleveland, Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Arts in history from Western College for Women in 1962. From 1962-1964, she served in the Peace Corps in Iran, one of the country’s first Peace Corps volunteers. She earned a master’s degree in social science in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1970 from Syracuse University.

Shalala was a professor at Baruch College from 1970-1972 and at Teachers College, Columbia University from 1972-1979. From 1977-1980, she also served as an assistant secretary for policy development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She was president of Hunter College from 1980-1987, and served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison from 1987-1993. Shalala served as the United States secretary of health and human services from 1993-2001. From 2001-2015, she was president of the University of Miami. From 2015-2017, she served as president of the Clinton Foundation.

In 2008, Shalala was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. In 2010 she received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, in 2011.

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