Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA is the 18th Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service. As America’s Doctor, she provides the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. Dr. Benjamin also oversees the operational command of 6,500 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health of the American People.
Dr. Benjamin is Founder and Former CEO of the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Alabama, former Associate Dean for Rural Health at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile, and immediate Past Chair of the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. In 1995, she was the first physician under age 40 and the first African-American woman to be elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees. She served as President of the American Medical Association Education and Research Foundation and Chair of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA). In 2002 she became President of the Medical Association State of Alabama, making her the first African American female president of a State Medical Society in the United States.
Dr. Benjamin has a BS in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans; MD degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham; an MBA from Tulane University and eleven Honorary Doctorates. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Ga. She established a clinic in a small fishing village in Alabama to help its uninsured residents. Dr. Benjamin persevered through Hurricane Georges in 1998, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and a devastating fire in 2006, often putting up her own money to cover expenses. She also became nationally prominent for her business acumen and humane approach to preventive medicine.
Dr. Benjamin is a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. She was a Kellogg National Fellow and a Rockefeller Next Generation Leader. Some of her numerous board memberships include the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Catholic Health Association, and Morehouse School of Medicine.
In 1998 Dr. Benjamin was the United States recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. She was named by Time Magazine as one of the “Nation’s 50 Future Leaders Under Age 40.” She was featured in a New York Times article, “Angel in a White Coat,” in People Magazine, on the December 1999 cover of Clarity Magazine and was on the January 2003 cover of Reader’s Digest. She was also “Person of the Week” on ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and “Woman of the Year” by CBS This Morning. She received the 2000 National Caring Award which was inspired by Mother Teresa, received the papal honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from Pope Benedict XVI and was awarded a MacArthur Genius Award Fellowship.