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Prevention Matters Podcast Episode 2: Donna Shalala

March ∙ 2021

On Episode 2 of the Prevention Matters podcast, we speak with Donna Shalala, former congresswomen and US Secretary of Health and Human Services. She shares with us how her background in the Peace Corps prepared her for a career in public service, why prevention continues to take a backseat to healthcare, how to best communicate prevention information to policymakers, and what to do if you’re ever invited to the White House.

Dr. Donna E. Shalala became The New School’s Interim President on August 15, 2023. Dr. Shalala is a nationally recognized scholar and leader in higher education and government. She served as President of the University of Miami, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and President of Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). A dedicated scholar and teacher, she has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, CUNY, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Miami.

Her leadership in U.S. government began as one of the country’s first Peace Corps Volunteers. For eight years she served in President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services.” Most recently, she was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

One of the most honored academic leaders of her generation, Dr. Shalala has been elected to seven national academies: the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Guggenheim Fellow.

She is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award; the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights; and a National Public Service Award. She was elected to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, and has received numerous honorary degrees. She was named one of the “top five managers in higher education” by BusinessWeek, one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and “one of the greatest public servants of the past 25 years” by the Council on Excellence in Government.

Dr. Shalala received her undergraduate degree from Western College for Women and a Ph.D. from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.


Prevention Matters Podcast

The official podcast of the National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives

For well over 50 years, prevention science has generated practices and policies that have improved countless lives throughout the lifespan by avoiding negative health and social outcomes (e.g., substance use disorder, academic failure, violence, mental illness) and strengthening conditions that enable individuals, families, and communities to thrive. The NPSC is dedicated to improving the reach and impact of prevention science. Join host Dr. Robert LaChausse as he interviews the most influential researchers, practitioners, and policymakers working in the field of prevention science. Each episode contains engaging conversations with powerful information to help you stay abreast of the field, connect with others like you who are doing important prevention work, and tips for improving your work and navigating the policy-making process.

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