Sanford I. Weill Retires as Chair of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers After 20 Years of Transformative Leadership


Jessica M. Bibliowicz, Successful Business Executive, Named New Chair of the Board

NEW YORK (December 9, 2014) — After 20 years of bold and visionary leadership that has transformed Weill Cornell Medical College into a global healthcare enterprise, Sanford I. Weill will retire as chair of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers on Jan. 1. Jessica M. Bibliowicz, a successful entrepreneur in the financial services business for nearly three decades, who has served on the Board of Overseers for the past decade, will succeed Mr. Weill, the new chair emeritus.

Jessica M. Bibliowicz and Sanford I. Weill

Jessica M. Bibliowicz and Sanford I. Weill. All photos: John Abbott

The transition comes as the 116-year-old medical college embarks on a new chapter that builds upon the landmark successes Mr. Weill has realized in his two decades as chair. His enduring dedication to the institution that bears his name has resulted in an unprecedented expansion that is exemplified in Weill Cornell's excellence in medical education, biomedical research and clinical care. In collaboration with medical college leadership, Ms. Bibliowicz will help lead Weill Cornell as it continues to break new ground in New York and abroad by expanding its clinical enterprise and forging public-private partnerships that accelerate groundbreaking scientific discoveries for patients. Working closely with Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, Ms. Bibliowicz will help guide its transformation of medical education and drive dialogue on innovative healthcare delivery models that optimize the value and quality of patient care.

"When I joined the Board of Overseers more than 30 years ago, I was driven to try and make a difference in the world," Mr. Weill said. "It's truly humbling to see just how much of an impact Weill Cornell has had around the globe, and I believe we are poised to thrive far into the future. Weill Cornell Medical College is more to me than just an esteemed medical school — the people here are my extended family. I could think of no one better than Jessica to shepherd Weill Cornell into the next stage of its evolution."

"It's an honor and privilege to be able to support Weill Cornell Medical College's tremendous efforts to educate, innovate and heal," Ms. Bibliowicz said. "As a Cornell University alum, it's especially meaningful to me to try and help take this distinguished institution to the next level of excellence in New York and beyond. Our ever-changing healthcare landscape has sparked exciting opportunities to help shape national conversation, and I'm eager to work with Dr. Glimcher and the Board of Overseers as we strive to improve and prolong human health."

Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, Sanford I. Weill and Jessica M. Bibliowicz

In the three decades he has served on the Board of Overseers and in the two decades he has been chair, Mr. Weill has been much more than a governing force. His benevolence and unwavering resolve to ensure a healthier future has touched every program area at Weill Cornell, establishing the medical school as an innovator in basic, clinical and translational research, and forging a new paradigm for global engagement and medical education.

Under Mr. Weill's leadership, the medical college has built bridges nationally and abroad. Weill Cornell forged an affiliation with Houston Methodist in Texas and, with Cornell University, established a medical school in Doha, Qatar. Since its inception in 2002, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, which offers a Cornell University medical degree, has created 181 new doctors who have continued their graduate medical training in residencies and clinical research at outstanding institutions in the United States and Qatar. The Weill Cornell Qatar location has also established a world-class biomedical team and contributed to Qatar's goal of becoming a knowledge-based economy. In addition, Weill Cornell in 2007 established a formal affiliation with Bugando Medical Centre and the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania, named in recognition of the Weills' support. Weill Bugando has graduated an average of 100 new doctors every year for the past seven years in Mwanza, expanding Tanzania's core of providers who are empowered to deliver the best patient care, despite a resource-limited setting. This unique educational partnership has spurred new possibilities for cultural exchange, providing medical students at Weill Cornell in New York and residents at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital with the opportunity to spend a month or two in Mwanza practicing medicine the way it used to be, with limited modern technology. They return to New York with a greater sense of gratification that reaffirms their commitment to global health and a career in academic medicine.

In recognition that building a healthier future also requires training an exceptional cadre of new doctors and scientists, Mr. Weill and his wife Joan in 1992 established the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Education Center, the heart of the medical college's education program, with their first gifts to Weill Cornell. The Weill Education Center comprises the Weill Auditorium and 20 classrooms and teaching laboratories outfitted with modern audio-visual, networking and wireless technology to provide the next generation of medical professionals with the best environment for learning.

Sanford I. Weill

In 2007, Weill Cornell opened the Weill Greenberg Center in New York City, the medical college's flagship and award-winning ambulatory care center, and in January opened the adjacent Belfer Research Building, a transformative 18-story, state-of-the-art facility that ensures that the medical college remains at the forefront of scientific discovery. Their proximity to each other ensures that breakthroughs made in the laboratory can be rapidly applied to patient care as improved treatments and therapies. Weill Cornell has successfully recruited some of the world's leading physicians and scientists to conduct this translational research. Last year, the Weills established the Weill Center for Metabolic Health, which strives to understand the basic biology and genetics of diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and translate discoveries into next-generation therapeutic approaches. Weill Cornell is conducting a national search for a renowned scientist to lead these efforts.

A self-made man who exemplifies the philosophy of leading by example, Mr. Weill, Mrs. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation have generously given more than $550 million in gifts to support Weill Cornell Medical College. They include a groundbreaking $100 million gift in 1998 — at the time the largest in Cornell University's history — a second $100 million gift in 2002, a $250 million gift in 2007 and another $100 million gift in 2013 to establish the Weill Center for Metabolic Health, as well as the Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation Global Health Research Laboratories. In honor and appreciation of their unparalleled dedication and enduring commitment, the institution in 1998 was renamed Weill Cornell Medical College. With an additional gift of $50 million to Cornell University, the Weills' total giving tops $600 million.

The Weills' altruism inspired and galvanized Weill Cornell's numerous, loyal donors to support the medical college. In Mr. Weill's 20 years as chair, the medical college has raised $3 billion. Earlier this year, Weill Cornell celebrated the Weills' legacy by naming its department of medicine the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine.

"What Sandy has done for Weill Cornell, New York and the world is just breathtaking — it's a labor of love that will touch the lives of generations," Dr. Glimcher said. "His unwavering leadership, profound magnanimity and steadfast resolve to enhance medical education, advance discoveries and enrich clinical care is his lasting legacy. Jessica is an outstanding choice to assume Sandy's mantle and steer Weill Cornell into the future. I couldn't be more thrilled for what's to come."

"Sandy is a businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, visionary leader, chairman emeritus of Citigroup, Cornell alumnus and my good friend," said Cornell University President David Skorton. "As chair of the Board of Overseers of Weill Cornell Medical College, he has nurtured the college's growth, guided its progress and expanded its capacity for rigorous medical education, path-breaking research and superb clinical care — to the enormous benefit of our students, faculty, researchers and patients. I am delighted that Jessica Bibliowicz, who has provided exemplary leadership to the university and the medical college, has agreed to take on this new role as chair of the Board of Overseers."

"It is impossible to overstate the impact that Sandy has had on Weill Cornell Medical College, and on the whole of Cornell University, during his time as chair of the Board of Overseers," said Robert Harrison, chair of the Cornell University Board of Trustees. "He is someone who can not only articulate a strong and inspirational vision, but also bring people together to do what it takes to make the vision a reality. Although I will miss working with Sandy, I am very much looking forward to working with Jessica in her new role. She has been a very effective trustee and overseer for many years and clearly has the talent and energy to lead the Board of Overseers and the medical school to new heights."

About Jessica M. Bibliowicz

A Cornell University graduate in 1981 and after working 18 years in financial services, Ms. Bibliowicz became CEO of National Financial Partners in 1999, a financial services firm that specializes in benefits and wealth management. The company went public in 2003 and was sold to Madison Dearborn in 2013. Ms. Bibliowicz joined the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers in 2004. She is also a member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees and a member of the Cornell NYC Tech Campus Task Force. Currently, Ms. Bibliowicz is a senior advisor at Bridge Growth Partners and serves on the board of directors of Sotheby's(NYSE: BID); Realogy (NYSE: RLGY); and the Asia Pacific Fund (NYSE: APB). She is a board director/trustee of Prudential Insurance Funds and is also on the board of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research from bench to bedside aimed at unlocking mysteries of the human body in health and sickness and toward developing new treatments and prevention strategies. In its commitment to global health and education, Weill Cornell has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, Cornell University is the first in the U.S. to offer a M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances — including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. Weill Cornell Medical College is affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where its faculty provides comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The Medical College is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit

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A Slice of Life at Weill Cornell


As an Olympic swimmer, Dr. Ngozi Monu knows what it takes to beat the clock. Representing Nigeria in the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing summer games, Dr. Monu holds her native country’s record for women’s 50 and 100 meter freestyle.

While she values these accomplishments, Dr. Monu left the Olympics with more than just time records. Competing around the world exposed her to critical health disparities and ingrained in her the importance of timely access to care.

"I got to see how everyone addresses problems and thought a lot about equalizing resources around the world," she said. "Everyone should have access to basic healthcare resources."

It helped inspire Dr. Monu, 33, to earn a doctorate in biomedical sciences, and it drove her to Weill Cornell Medical College, where she’s a first-year medical student.

Last month, Dr. Monu and three of her classmates in the Class of 2018 sat down with Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell, at nearby Patsy's Pizzeria to discuss the state of medicine, life at Weill Cornell and the role of doctors in the 21st century.

"As the dean, it's vital for me to meet them and hear what's on their minds," Dr. Glimcher said. "It's also one of the best parts of my job."

Foremost on the students' minds was Weill Cornell's new curriculum, which was unveiled earlier this fall after four years of planning. The curriculum integrates basic science with patient care and shortens didactics to a year and a half, so students can get into the clinic earlier. It also emphasizes physicianship and lifelong learning, key to nurturing the next generation of physicians.

"I think physicianship is a very important component of being a successful doctor," said M.D.-Ph.D. student Rhiannon Aguilar, 20, of Maryland. "I had never heard the word before coming to Weill Cornell, but after being introduced to the concept, I think it's a perfect way to describe many of the intangible aspects of being a doctor, including professionalism, empathy for patients and awareness of the healthcare environment as a whole."

While she may not have known about physicianship, she has been practicing many of its key elements for most of her life. As Mexican-Americans, Aguilar’s father and grandfather experienced education-related discrimination, and encouraged her to work hard in school and be successful. Taking the encouragement to heart, she graduated from her science-tech magnet high school after only three years, and majored in chemistry at the University of Maryland. But it was her experience at the Tri-Institutional M.D.-Ph.D. Program's Gateways to the Laboratory Program that committed her to a life as a physician-scientist.

"It was my first time doing research, the first time living in New York and first time meeting medical and graduate students," Aguilar said. "Overall, I loved it! I think my biggest takeaway from the program was that I started to feel like I was really capable of pursuing a graduate and medical education."

Bench to bedside research is a true passion for Aguilar’s classmate, Daniel Starer-Stor, a former professional tap dancer who performed with the New Tap Dance Orchestra. Starer-Stor, 23, of New York, had always been interested in medicine, but was particularly inspired after working with Dr. Doug Turnbull at Newcastle University in England.

A neurologist, Dr. Turnbull is investigating the biology of mitochondria, the cells’ powerhouse, in order to better understand how diseases characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction develop in children. Fascinated by his research, Starer-Stor spent a winter term working in Dr. Turnbull’s lab and learned about more than just the inheritance of defective mitochondria.

"He would care for these children and really try to figure out what's going on in the lab so he could bring those advances in care to his future patients," said M.D.-Ph.D. student Starer-Stor.

That's precisely the point of Weill Cornell's new curriculum, which is designed to empower the next generation of physicians and scientists to make groundbreaking research discoveries and deliver exceptional patient care.

Compassion is an integral part of exceptional patient care, something Weill Cornell medical student Eric Kutscher understands firsthand. In 2011, Kutscher was rejected from donating blood because he identified as a gay male, igniting in him a passion for public and sexual health advocacy. The 23-year-old New York native served as an HIV/AIDS counselor and wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about the need for comprehensive sex education in schools.

Kutscher spent a semester abroad in Kenya during his junior year at Columbia University, studying circumcision and surveying public opinion. That’s where he first learned about Weill Cornell's Division of Infectious Diseases, led by Dr. Roy Gulick. The division conducts research, treats patients and provides education and training in infectious diseases in locations around the world, including New York and Weill Bugando in Mwanza, Tanzania.

Kutscher's experience in Kenya galvanized him to go to medical school and complement his interest in advocacy with patient care. Inspired by Dr. Gulick, he hopes to one day open a clinic in New York City and provide compassionate patient care to HIV/AIDS patients and those at the greatest risk of contracting the disease.

"As a gay man," Kutscher said, "it's very important for me to see other gay men who are ahead in their field and are doing things pertaining to HIV and AIDS that involve our community so much."

Related Links

First Year Students Begin Their Medical Journeys

Weill Cornell Launches Campaign for Education

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Elizabeth Garrett, USC Provost, Named Cornell's 13th President


The Cornell University Board of Trustees on Sept. 30 approved the appointment of Elizabeth Garrett, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Southern California, as Cornell's next president. Garrett will assume the presidency July 1, 2015.

The board's approval followed the selection of Garrett by a presidential search committee that was formed in March after current President David J. Skorton announced he would be leaving Cornell on June 30, 2015, to become the next secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Garrett will be the first woman to lead the university.

"I am honored to have been selected as the next leader of this remarkable institution," Garrett said. "Cornell is one of the world's truly great universities, with a stellar commitment to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and creative activity, linked with a deep commitment to public engagement. I am excited to join the Cornell community and to work with the faculty, staff, students and alumni to chart the next chapter in its illustrious history. Andrei and I also look forward to joining the vibrant Ithaca community."

Garrett is married to Andrei Marmor, professor of philosophy and the Maurice Jones Jr. Professor of Law at USC, who will be joining the Cornell faculty as a full professor with joint appointments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Law School.

"I am proud today to welcome Beth Garrett as the next president of Cornell University," said Robert Harrison, chairman of the board of trustees. "Beth has not only distinguished herself as an inspirational leader, thinker and scholar, but she also embodies the values and traditions that have placed Cornell at the forefront of the increasingly global field of higher education. She is going to be a great president."

"It's an exciting time at Cornell University as we celebrate our 150th anniversary and reflect on our reputation of championing excellence in education,” said Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. "With Beth joining the Cornell family as its first female president, we have forged a pioneering new chapter in our history. As a great research university, Cornell has the power to make a difference in the world, and I am thrilled to see what we can accomplish."

Garrett was appointed to her current position at USC in October 2010. As the university's second-ranking officer, she oversees the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as well as the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 16 other professional schools, in addition to the divisions of student affairs, research, libraries, information technology services, student religious life and enrollment services. She also is actively involved in the Keck Medical Center of USC, sitting on the USC Health Systems Board that oversees three hospitals and 18 clinical practices, as well as chairing the Keck Medical Center Oversight Committee.

She is the Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor of Law, Political Science, Finance and Business Economics, and Public Policy, and she served previously as USC's vice president for academic planning and budget. Garrett's primary scholarly interests include legislative process, the design of democratic institutions, the federal budget process and tax policy. She is the author of more than 50 articles, book chapters and essays, and is co-author of the nation's most influential casebook on legislation and statutory interpretation, now in its fifth edition. At Cornell, Garrett will be a tenured faculty member in the Law School with a joint appointment in the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Garrett has an exemplary record of public service. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed her to serve on the nine-member bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. From 2009 to 2013, she served as one of five commissioners on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state's independent political oversight agency, and was a co-chair of its Subcommittee on the Political Reform Act and Internet Political Activity. Before entering academics, Garrett served as budget and tax counsel and legislative director for Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.) and clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Garrett was elected a Harold Lasswell Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. She serves on the board of trustees of Internet2, a not-for-profit consortium comprised of universities, corporations and government agencies which aims to accelerate research, advance education and improve the delivery of public services through innovative technologies.

Before joining the faculty of USC, she was a professor of law at the University of Chicago where she also served as deputy dean for academic affairs. She received her B.A. in history with special distinction from the University of Oklahoma and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Marmor is the author or editor of 10 books, including the recent “The Language of Law” (Oxford University Press, 2014). He directs the USC Center for Law and Philosophy and is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy. He received his LL.B. and B.A. in philosophy from Tel Aviv University and his D.Phil. from Oxford University.

"Our 6-month search for Cornell's next president has reached an exciting and historic conclusion," said Jan Rock Zubrow, chairman of the board of trustees' executive committee and presidential search committee. "As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Cornell's founding, we are proud to add Beth to the long line of exceptional Cornell presidents. Her talents, experience and vision make her the ideal choice to lead Cornell into its next 150 years."

Zubrow led a search committee of 19 individuals representing a cross-section of Cornell constituencies, including trustees, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, employees, Weill Cornell Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, senior administration, and alumni. The committee was aided by two former board chairs who served as advisers.

"I congratulate the search committee on its terrific choice of Elizabeth Garrett as Cornell's 13th president,” Dr. Skorton said. "I look forward to working closely with her over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and a successful start to what I am confident will be her exceptional tenure at Cornell. Robin joins me in welcoming both Beth and Andrei to the Cornell family."

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Weill Cornell Celebrates the Class of 2014


To celebrate the Class of 2014, Weill Cornell has launched a special graduation page that features our news coverage of commencement activities, including stories, videos, photos and more.

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