Donna E. Shalala, a leading scholar on the political economy of state and local governments, has more than 25 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher, and administrator. This City Club Forum is in partnership with Cleveland Scholarship Programs, Inc.
A Cleveland native, Shalala received her Ph.D. from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She served in the Carter administration as assistant secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Shalala was president of Hunter College of CUNY from 1980 to 1987, and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993. In 1992, Business Week named her one of the top five managers in higher education.
In 1993, President Clinton appointed Shalala U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services where she served for eight years. At the end of her tenure, The Washington Post described her as "one of the most successful government managers of modern times."
Shalala is a director of Gannett Co., Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Inc., and the Lennar Corporation and serves as a trustee of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. She has more than three dozen honorary degrees and other honors, including the 1992 National Public Service Award, the 1994 Glamour magazine Woman of the Year Award, and in 2005, was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She has been elected to the Council on Foreign Relations; National Academy of Education; the National Academy of Public Administration; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the National Academy of Social Insurance; the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.