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Keynote Speakers

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark

James Forbes, Global Principal Investments Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch  

Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric

Arthur Agatston, MD, Leading Preventive Cardiologist and Creator and Author of The South Beach Diet

Donna E. Shalala, President, University of Miami

Kathleen SebeliusKathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009. As Secretary, she leads the principal agency charged with keeping Americans healthy, ensuring they get the health care they need, and providing children, families, and seniors with the essential human services they depend on. She also oversees one of the largest civilian departments in the federal government, with nearly 80,000 employees.

Since taking office, Secretary Sebelius has been a leader on some of the Obama administration's top priorities. As the country's highest-ranking health official, she has been a powerful voice for reforming our health insurance system. She has also been charged by the President with coordinating the response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. And under her leadership, HHS has provided a wide range of services from health care to child care to energy assistance to help families weather the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Secretary Sebelius has answered President Obama's call to form partnerships across government to improve the lives of Americans. She is the Co-Chair, with Secretary Vilsack, of the President's Food Safety Working Group. With Attorney General Holder, she chairs the new Health Care Fraud Prevention and Action Team (HEAT). She has teamed up with Secretary Duncan improve early childhood education. And as part of President Obama's "Year of Community Living," she is working with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan to improve the lives of seniors and people with disabilities who wish to live at home.

Secretary Sebelius has been a leader on health care, family, and senior issues for over 20 years. As Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, she fought to create jobs, improve access to affordable health care, and give every Kansas child a quality education. In 2005, Time Magazine recognized her achievements by naming her one of America's Top Five Governors.

Before being elected Governor, she served from 1995 to 2003 as the first Democrat to be elected Kansas Insurance Commissioner. In that role, she was recognized as a strong advocate for consumers while streamlining the Department's budget. For her efforts, Governing Magazine selected her as their Public Official of the Year for 2000. Prior to her service as Insurance Commissioner, she was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.

Secretary Sebelius is the first daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity Washington University. She is married to Gary Sebelius, a federal magistrate judge. They have two sons, Ned and John.

Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark

Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H, age 55, is Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark. Prior to joining CVS Caremark, Dr. Brennan was Chief Medical Officer of Aetna Inc. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Brennan served as President and CEO of Brigham and Women's Physician's Organization. In his academic work, he was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Law and Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Brennan received his M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Yale Medical School and his J.D. degree from Yale Law School. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

James ForbesJames Forbes, Global Principal Investments Executive, Bank of America Merrill Lynch 

Jim Forbes was named Global Principal Investments Executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in March 2009. In this role, Forbes oversees the strategic commitment of capital for Bank of America. Forbes is also the Chairman of the Investment Committee for BAMLCP.

From 2002 to 2008, Forbes served as Global Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch. Forbes’ transaction experience includes mergers and acquisitions, equity and convertible financings, high yield financings and private equity transactions. In the last five years, he helped companies raise over $50 billion in financing and has been involved in over $80 billion of Mergers and Acquisition transactions, including initiating and being the lead advisor to the buyout consortium in the $33 billion LBO of HCA. Before joining Merrill Lynch in 1995, Forbes worked at CS First Boston where he was a member of the Debt Capital Markets group.

Currently, Forbes serves on the Boards of Conversus Capital, L.P., HCA and Sterling Stamos.


HamburgMargaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., was confirmed on May 18, 2009 by a unanimous Senate voice vote to become the 21st Commissioner of Food and Drugs. The second woman to be nominated for that demanding position, Dr. Hamburg is exceptionally qualified for her new job by her training and experience as a medical doctor, scientist and public health executive.

Dr. Hamburg graduated from Harvard Medical School, and completed her residency in internal medicine at what is now New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center, one of the top-ten hospitals in the nation. She conducted research on neuroscience at Rockefeller University in New York, studied neuropharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., and later focused on AIDS research as Assistant Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

In 1990, Dr. Hamburg joined the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Deputy Health Commissioner, and within a year was promoted to Commissioner, a position she held until 1997. During her tenure she was widely praised for her initiatives, decisive leadership, and significant public health measures she carried out despite severe budget constraints and while holding academic positions at Columbia University School of Public Health and Cornell University Medical College.

Dr. Hamburg's accomplishments as New York's top public health official included improved services for women and children, needle-exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV (the AIDS virus), and the initiation the first public health bio-terrorism defense program in the nation. Her most celebrated achievement, however, was curbing the spread of tuberculosis. In the 1990s, TB resurged as a major public health threat, largely because many patients did not complete the full course of the treatment and the disease became resistant to standard drugs. Dr. Hamburg confronted the problem by sending health care workers to patients’ homes and taking other steps to make sure they completed the drug regimen. Thanks to this program, in a five-year span, the TB rate in New York City fell by 46% overall, and 86% for the most drug-resistant strains. Dr. Hamburg's innovative approach has become a model for health departments world-wide.

In 1994, Dr. Hamburg was elected to the membership in the Institute of Medicine, one of the youngest persons to be so honored. Three years later, at the request of President Clinton, she accepted the position of Assistant Secretary for Policy and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

In 2001, Dr. Hamburg became Vice President for Biological Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation dedicated to reducing the threat to public safety from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In that position, she has advocated broad reforms in public health infrastructure and policy, from local health departments to the national agency, in order to meet the dangers of modern bioterrorism as well as the threats of naturally occurring infectious diseases such as pandemic flu. Since 2005, Dr. Hamburg has served as the Initiative's Senior Scientist. President Barack Obama nominated her for the FDA Commissioner on March 25, 2009.

Upon Dr. Hamburg's confirmation by the U.S. Senate, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has praised her as "an inspiring public health leader with broad experience in infectious disease, bioterrorism, and health policy,” and added that "Personally, I have been impressed by the calm and confidence Dr. Hamburg has shown in the face of a wide variety of challenges."

Jeffrey ImmeltJeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO, General Electric

Jeffrey R. Immelt is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001.

Mr. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE's Plastics, Appliance, and Medical businesses. In 1989 he became an officer of GE and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. A couple years later, in 2000, Mr. Immelt was appointed president and chief executive officer.

Mr. Immelt has been named one of the "World's Best CEOs" three times by Barron's, and since he began serving as chief executive officer, GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of "The World's Most Respected Companies" in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times.

Mr. Immelt is also a member of The Business Council, and he is on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Mr. Immelt earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.


Arthur AgatstonArthur Agatston, MD, Leading Preventive Cardiologist and Creator and Author of The South Beach Diet

Dr. Arthur Agatston is a preventive cardiologist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. A pioneer in the field of noninvasive cardiac imaging, Dr. Agatston's scientific work with Dr. Warren Janowitz, first reported in 1991, resulted in the Agatston Score, a method for screening for coronary calcium that is currently used throughout the world and considered by many to be the best predictor of heart disease.

Dr. Agatston has had published more than 100 scientific articles and abstracts in medical journals, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, the American Journal of Cardiology, and the Annals of Internal Medicine. He is a frequent lecturer on diet, health, and the prevention of heart disease both nationally and internationally and participates as a speaker, faculty member, and organizer of numerous academic cardiology meetings and symposia. Dr. Agatston has also served as an expert consultant to the Clinical Trials Committee of the National Institutes of Health and has served on committees of the American Society of Echocardiography, the American College of Cardiology, and the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging. He is currently on the board of directors of the Association for the Eradication of Heart Attack (AEHA) and the American Dietetic Association Foundation. Recently, Dr. Agatston received the prestigious Alpha Omega Award from New York University Medical Center for outstanding achievement in the medical profession.

In 1995, Dr. Agatston developed a diet to help his cardiac and diabetes patients improve their blood chemistries and lose weight. His eating plan worked so well that a Miami TV station asked if it could offer the diet to its viewers. Hundreds of South Floridians went on the diet and lost weight three years running, and its popularity eventually led to the publication of Dr. Agatston's first book, The South Beach Diet, in 2003. Today, the South Beach Diet has become a lifestyle approach to healthy eating for millions of people worldwide. There are more than 23 million copies of The South Beach Diet and its companion books currently in print, including: The South Beach Diet Cookbook (2004); The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide (2004); The South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook (2005); The South Beach Diet Dining Guide (2005); The South Beach Diet Parties & Holidays Cookbook (2006); The South Beach Heart Health Revolution (2008) and, his most recent book, The South Beach Diet Supercharged (2008). Today Dr. Agatston can also be found on the Web at SouthBeachDiet.com, EverdayHealth.com, and Prevention.com.

Dr. Agatston lives in Miami Beach with his wife, Sari. The Agatstons have two sons currently attending law school and college.

Donna E. ShalalaDonna E. Shalala, President, University of Miami

Donna E. Shalala became Professor of Political Science and President of the University of Miami on June 1, 2001.  President Shalala has more than 25 years of experience as an accomplished scholar, teacher, and administrator.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, President Shalala received her A.B. degree in history from Western College for Women.  One of the country's first Peace Corp Volunteers, she served in Iran from 1962 to 1964 She earned her Ph.D. degree from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  A leading scholar on the political economy of state and local governments, she also has held tenured professorships at Columbia University, the City University of New York (CUNY), and the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  She served as President of Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1987 and as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993.

During her tenure, UM has solidified its position among top U.S. research universities and continues to rise in national rankings, including an unprecedented 16-point climb in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges, " moving from 66th in 2001 up to 50th in 2009. Momentum: The Campaign for the University of Miami, the first billion-dollar capital campaign completed in the state of Florida, raised $1.4 billion in private support for the university's endowment, academic and research programs and facilities. UM's Coral Gables campus hosted the first 2004 Presidential Debate and in 2007, in partnership with Univision Network, presented the first-ever Democratic and Republican presidential candidates' forums in Spanish.

In 1993 President Clinton appointed her U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) where she served for eight years, becoming the longest serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history.  At the beginning of her tenure, HHS had a budget of nearly $600 billion, which included a wide variety of programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Child Care and Head Start, Welfare, the Public Health Service, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

As HHS Secretary, she directed the welfare reform process, made health insurance available to an estimated 3.3 million children through the approval of all State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), raised child immunization rates to the highest levels in history, led major reforms of the FDA's drug approval process and food safety system, revitalized the National Institutes of Health, and directed a major management and policy reform of Medicare.  At the end of her tenure as HHS Secretary, The Washington Post described her as "one of the most successful government managers of modern times." 

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