Susan Desmond-Hellmann, the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), will be the next CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The oncologist and former Genentech executive will take the reins of the huge philanthropy from retiring CEO Jeff Raikes on 1 May 2014, overseeing the foundation’s activities in global public health, poverty, and education.
Before assuming the post as UCSF chancellor in 2009, Desmond-Hellmann was president of product development at pre-Roche Genentech “during some of the biotech’s most fruitful years,” according to FierceBiotech, leading the introduction of the targeted cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin. Desmond-Hellmann was one of the few oncologists on staff at Genentech, says The New York Times, and was in charge of all clinical trials.
“Sue’s background in public health policy, research and development, and higher education, make her an exceptional fit for this role,” said Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, in a statement.