9. A First Among Presidents

A First Among Presidents: Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., is the first black woman to become president of a freestanding medical school.

Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., will add president to her titles when she becomes the first African-American woman to be CEO of an independent medical school. Dr. Montgomery Rice takes the helm of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta on July 1, 2014. She has served as executive vice president and dean of the school since 2011. Only 16 percent of deans at leading medical schools are women. “The vision is crystal clear,” she said in a statement. “My role is to continue to further the mission while also positioning the school to remain relevant and at the forefront of an ever-changing medical school environment.” She’s also crystal clear about the importance of our health. Dr. Montgomery Rice is the founder and former director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. The Harvard-educated physician specializes in gynecology and obstetrics. A renowned expert in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, she is part of a research partnership with the University of Zambia focusing on the development of a vaginal microbicide to prevent HIV.