In 1975, Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., was the founding Dean and first President of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). With the exception of his tenure as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 1989 to 1993, Dr. Sullivan was President of MSM for more than two decades. On July 1, 2002, he retired from the presidency, but continues to support MSM, assisting in national fund-raising activities on behalf of the school.
A native of Atlanta, Dr. Sullivan graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College in 1954, and earned his medical degree, cum laude, from Boston University School of Medicine in 1958. He is certified in internal medicine and hematology.
Dr. Sullivan was an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School from 1963-64, and assistant professor of medicine at Seton Hall College of Medicine from 1964-65. In 1966, he became co-director of hematology at Boston University Medical Center and, a year later, founded the Boston University Hematology Service at Boston City Hospital. Dr. Sullivan joined the Boston University School of Medicine in 1966 and remained until 1975, holding positions as assistant professor of medicine, associate professor of medicine, and professor of medicine.
In 1989, Dr. Sullivan accepted an appointment by President George H.W. Bush to head HHS. Dr. Sullivan was responsible for the major health, welfare, food and drug safety, medical research and income security programs serving the American people. In January 1993, he returned to MSM as president.
Dr. Sullivan is Chairman of the board of the National Health Museum in Washington, D.C. and is Chairman of the Sullivan Alliance on Diversity in the Healthcare Workforce. He serves as Chair of the President's Commission on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and was Co-Chair of the President's Commission on HIV and AIDS from 2001 to 2006.