Donna Edna Shalala was born February 14, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio, an Arab American of Lebanese ancestry. She received a A.B. degree in history from Western College for Women, Miami (Ohio) University, and her Ph.D. from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. One of the country's first Peace Corp volunteers, she served in Iran from 1962 to 1964. She held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York (CUNY), and the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She served in the Carter administration as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She served as President of Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1987 and as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin - Madison from 1987 to 1993. Shalala served as Secretary of Health and Human Services from January 22, 1993 to January 20, 2001. As Secretary, she directed the welfare reform process, made health insurance available to an estimated 3.3 million children through the approval of all State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), raised child immunization rates to the highest levels in history, led major reforms of the FDA's drug approval process and food safety system, revitalized the National Institutes of Health, and directed a major management and policy reform of Medicare. Following her government service, Shalala became Professor of Political Science and President of the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, on June 1, 2001. In addition, she was a Director of Gannett Co., Inc., United Health Group, Inc., and the Lennar Corporation. She also served as a Trustee of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. She was 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.
From the description of Shalala, Donna E., 1941- (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10581245