San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann announced that she would step down from her post effective March 31, 2014, and become the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:
“Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann has proven a dynamic, dedicated, passionate, and visionary leader for UCSF. For nearly five years, she has maintained this university as the crown jewel of public research institutions nationwide, the top public recipient of NIH research funds. She has kept this center of higher learning – and our city – on the cutting edge of innovation, medicine, and scientific progress.
“From the start, Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann applied her extensive private sector experience to the task of strengthening UCSF and expanding its reach and leadership across the globe. Her world-class mind enabled her to explain complex science in terms everyone could understand. Her legacy will stand tall through the work of the Benioff Children’s Hospital and her advancements in health care delivery. Her name will long live on as a trailblazer – the first woman to serve as the university’s Chancellor.
“UCSF’s loss is the Gates Foundation’s gain. Though Chancellor Desmond-Hellmann will be missed on campus, we know she is the perfect fit to lead the foundation’s efforts to empower men, women, and children around the world to lead healthy, productive, and successful lives. I wish her and her family all the best in the future, and look forward to continuing our work to ensure UCSF always leads the way in science and research.”