Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS is the President of The New York Academy of Medicine and is leading its strategic vision to advance health equity.
A physician executive and one of the nation’s pre-eminent leaders in health and health care, Dr. Salerno most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Susan G. Komen ™, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, with over $2.9 billion invested in research, community health and advocacy since 1982. During her tenure from 2013 to 2016, she oversaw global operations, guided the development of a new strategic direction and re-branding for the organization, and directed the launch of an innovative $27 million, 10-city health equity initiative.
She joined Komen from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the National Academy of Medicine, where she was the Leonard D. Schaeffer Executive Officer, serving as executive director and chief operating officer. In that role, she was responsible for directing the IOM’s research and policy programs and guiding the Institute’s operations on a daily basis. While at IOM, she led its partnership with HBO to create an Emmy-nominated documentary series in 2013 on America’s obesity epidemic, The Weight of the Nation, and co-authored a companion book that examined the crisis and proposed solutions.
Previous to IOM, Dr. Salerno served as Deputy Director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She oversaw the Institute’s research into aging, including research on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, frailty and function in late life, and the social, behavioral and demographic aspects of aging. In that role, she designed public-private initiatives to address aging stereotypes, novel approaches to support training of new investigators in aging, and programs to communicate health and research advances to the public.
She directed the continuum of Geriatrics and Extended Care programs across the nation for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Washington, D.C., where she launched widely recognized national initiatives for pain management and improving end-of-life care. As Associate Chief of Staff at the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Salerno developed and implemented innovative approaches to geriatric primary care and coordinated area-wide geriatric medicine training. She co-founded the Washington D.C. Area Geriatric Education Center Consortium, a collaboration of more than 160 educational and community organizations within the Baltimore-Washington region.
Dr. Salerno was elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine in 2018 and was elected as a Fellow of The New York Academy of Medicine in 2017. She currently serves as a Member of the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness, on the Advisory Board of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, and as Commissioner of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control.
A board-certified physician in internal medicine, Dr. Salerno earned her MD degree from Harvard Medical School in 1985 and a Master of Science degree in Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1976. She recently relocated to New York City from Dallas, has three children and is an avid baseball fan.