Judith A. Salerno, MD

President, New York Academy of Medicine

Judith A. Salerno, MD's Bio

Judith A. Salerno, MD, is president of the New York Academy of Medicine. A physician executive and one of the nation’s pre-eminent leaders in health and healthcare, she most recently served as president and CEO of Susan G. Komen™, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, with more than $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 rebranding 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 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. She also oversaw the National Cancer Policy Forum, a consortium of government, industry, academic, consumer and other representatives that identifies and examines emerging high-priority policy issues in cancer.

Previous to IOM, 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 NIA’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., 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 in the Baltimore-Washington region.

Salerno currently serves as a member of the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness and as commissioner of the Lancet Commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain Control.

A board-certified physician in internal medicine, Salerno earned her MD degree from Harvard Medical School in 1985 and a master of science in health policy from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1976.

Recent Work