March of Dimes Elects Four New Trustees in 2014

Welcomes Former US Surgeon General, National Reporters and Marketing Expert

White Plains, New York | Monday, June 23, 2014

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Four leaders in the fields of medicine, media and marketing were elected to the March of Dimes National Board of Trustees, it was announced today. March of Dimes trustees serve as volunteers and play a vital role in the governing of the organization, serving as representatives of the public in advancing the March of Dimes mission for mother and baby health. Trustees serve five-year terms.

The new trustees are:

  • Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, former U. S. Surgeon General, Founder BayouClinic in Alabama, and Endowed Chair of Public Health Sciences Xavier University of Louisiana.
  • Gretchen Carlson, host of Fox News Channel’s The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, and a long-time March of Dimes volunteer, including serving as member of the March of Dimes National Communications Advisory Council.
  • Lisa Belkin, author and senior national correspondent for Yahoo News. Previously, Ms. Belkin was a columnist for The New York Times covering Lifestyles and Parenting.
  • Alfredo Gangotena, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Sotheby’s. Mr. Gangotena is a Board Member of the SOS-Prema association in France, the nonprofit organization that supports moms and premature babies.

“The diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise, of each of these individuals combined with their shared commitment to improving the health of moms and babies, will enable us to expand the reach of our mission. We’re honored they have joined our Board of Trustees,” says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes.

From her early days as the family physician founder of a rural health clinic in Alabama to her leadership role in the worldwide advancement of preventive health, Dr. Regina Benjamin has forged a career that has been recognized by a broad spectrum of organizations and publications. Dr. Benjamin specializes in prevention policies and health promotion among individuals as well as large populations, especially concerning obesity, and children’s health. She has special interest in rural health care, health disparities among socio-economic groups, suicide, violence, and mental health. Dr. Benjamin has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Xavier University, New Orleans, attended Morehouse School of Medicine, earned her doctorate in medicine from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a master of business administration from Tulane University. In May 2013, Reader’s Digest, ranked her #22 of the “100 Most Trusted People in America.

Gretchen Carlson’s involvement with the March of Dimes began with her high school’s Key Club fundraiser and her support of the March of Dimes has never wavered. She was Miss America in 1989 and the first classical violinist to win the talent competition. Ms. Carlson began her career in broadcast journalism as a reporter at a local television station in Richmond, Virginia and worked at stations in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dallas before becoming a national correspondent and host of The Saturday Early Show for CBS News. For her reporting, she earned two Emmy Awards. Ms. Carlson then moved to Fox News as co-host of Fox and Friends before starting her own show in 2013. Ms. Carlson serves on the Miss America Organization Board and is a Sunday school teacher. She often serves as the host and moderator of March of Dimes meetings and events. Ms. Carlson graduated with honors from Stanford University and studied at Oxford University in England. She resides in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Lisa Belkin has worked as a journalist for The New York Times (where she created both the Life's Work column and the Motherlode blog), the Huffington Post, and currently Yahoo News, covering the challenges facing children, parents and families today. A former medical reporter, Ms. Belkin has often written about issues relevant to the work of the March of Dimes, including birth defects and premature birth. Ms. Belkin is also the author of three books – Life’s Work: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom, Show Me a Hero (slated to become an HBO miniseries) and First, Do No Harm. She has also hosted “Life’s Work with Lisa Belkin” on XM Radio, and has been a regular contributor on Public Radio International’s The Takeaway and NBC-TV’s Today Show. Ms. Belkin is a graduate of Princeton University, where she was a visiting professor in the Humanities Council, teaching narrative non-fiction as an instrument of social change. Ms. Belkin resides in a suburb of New York City with her husband and two sons.

Prior to his current position as Chief Marketing Officer at Sotheby’s, the preeminent international auction house established in 1744, Alfredo Gangotena served as the Global Chief Marketing Officer at MasterCard Worldwide. During his tenure, MasterCard was the top global brand in terms of ranking growth from 2009-2013, according to the BrandZ report. Previously, Mr. Gangotena held senior management positions at Hutchison-Priceline, the Henkel Group in Germany, Procter & Gamble, Universal Music-Polygram in France, and the Disneyland Theme Park in Paris for the Walt Disney Company. Mr. Gangotena holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is a graduate engineer from Ecole Centrale in Paris, France. Mr. Gangotena resides in New York City. He is married and has two daughters.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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