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Regina  Benjamin

Regina Benjamin

18th U.S. Surgeon General


Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th U.S. Surgeon General 2009-2013, is the Founder and CEO of BayouClinic, Inc. and the Gulf States Health Policy Center. As America’s Doctor, she provided the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. Dr. Benjamin also oversaw the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote and protect the health of the American People. In addition, Dr. Benjamin served as chair of the National Prevention Council—17 cabinet-level Federal agencies that developed the roadmap for the Nation’s health, the National Prevention Strategy. Dr. Benjamin specializes in prevention policies and health promotion among individuals as well as large populations, especially concerning obesity, childhood obesity and children’s health. She has special interest in rural healthcare, health disparities among socio-economic groups, suicide, violence and mental health. Read More >

From her early days as the founder of a rural health clinic in Alabama to her leadership role in the worldwide advancement of preventive health, Dr. Regina Benjamin has forged a career that has been recognized by a broad spectrum of organizations and publications. She currently serves on the following nonprofit boards: Ascension Health; Kaiser Permanente; March of Dimes Foundation, as well as these publicly traded boards: ConveTec, Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy and CPSI, Inc.  In 1995, she was the first physician under the age of 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. Other past board memberships included the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Catholic Health Association and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Dr. Benjamin is a member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She has been chosen as a Kellogg National Fellow and Rockefeller Next Generation Leader.

In 1998, Dr. Benjamin was the United States recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. She received the 2000 National Caring Award, which was inspired by Mother Teresa and was recognized with the Papal honor Pro Ecclesia et Ponticifice from Pope Benedict XVI. In 2008, she was honored with a MacArthur Genius Award Fellowship. In 2011, Dr. Benjamin became the recipient of the Chairman’s Award at the 42nd NAACP Image Awards. In May 2013, Reader’s Digest ranked her #22 of the “100 Most Trusted People in America.”

Benjamin has a BS in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans, attended Morehouse School of Medicine, earned an MD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MBA from Tulane University. She is the recipient of 25 honorary degrees. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Regina's TED Talk

Speech Topics

Always on Call: Advice from America’s Doctor

Ethics & Leadership in Medicine

Health & Human Rights