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CARE CEO Helene Gayle is leaving Atlanta but leaving an impact

By Maria Saporta Original Story on WABE

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We are losing one of our leading advocates for making Atlanta a center for global health and development: Helene Gayle.

CARE CEO Helen Gayle speaks to Atlanta Press Club members in 2013. Credit Denis O'Hayer / WABE

CARE CEO Helen Gayle speaks to Atlanta Press Club members in 2013.
Credit Denis O’Hayer / WABE

Gayle has been the CEO of CARE for the past nine years. She announced in October 2014 she was leaving the international relief and poverty fighting organization this June.

As much as she loves CARE, Gayle thought it would be good for the nonprofit to have new leadership. Plus she wanted one more challenge to cap her illustrious career.

That new challenge? To become the inaugural CEO of the McKinsey Social Initiative.

It is the new nonprofit arm of the giant consulting firm. It’s goal? To develop innovative solutions to tackle the world’s toughest issues.

Gayle will be moving to Washington, D.C., to lead the McKinsey Social Initiative.

Although she had been intrigued by offers to stay in Atlanta, her priority was to work on global social change. She saw the McKinsey “start-up” as her best opportunity.

Gayle has been impacting global social change for decades. She worked for the CDC in the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She then joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation before joining CARE in 2006.

At CARE, Gayle would talk about the potential power of Atlanta institutions to improve the lives of people around the world. Our nonprofits, universities and corporations could work more closely together to help reduce extreme poverty, empower women, provide clean water and distribute vaccines to fight the most devastating diseases on earth.

Gayle brought together partners from the CDC, the Carter Center, the Task Force for Global Health, the Coca-Cola Company, UPS, Delta Air Lines and others to work on these common goals.

The vision is that Atlanta can build on its foundation as a center for civil and human rights by focusing on the health and well-being of people around the world.

Fortunately Gayle will continue to have a relationship with Atlanta as a board member of the Coca-Cola Company.

But with Gayle no longer living in Atlanta full-time, our challenge will be to continue her great work in helping make Atlanta a nexus for global health and development.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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