Happiness 2.02

20: Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann: Former CEO and Senior Advisor To The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

February 22, 2021

“Understanding who drives decision making in a community, understanding who people believe and then working with them in a respectful way, will be the differentiator for science.” Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann.

We are incredibly pleased to announce today’s guest: Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann! The former CEO and Senior Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and current board member of Pfizer. Throughout her 30+ year career, Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann has always been dedicated to improving the human condition with her knowledge and determination. Most recently she has made strides in public health, climate change and changing the conversation around science.

Today’s conversation focused around: 

  • Some of the biggest influencers in her life
  • Her journey of becoming an oncologist 
  • What circumstances get her to flow states 
  • Her vision of having eyes on the prize 
  • Having a sense of purpose and mission 
  • The importance of having a diverse and strong team that you can rely on 
  • Wanting to change the communication around science to regain credibility 
  • Educating people on public health and climate change 
  • How you can expose your children to science from an early stage 
  • And her admiration for Dr. Anthony Fauci! 

After stepping down as the CEO from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation she has been playing several different roles: 

  • Senior Advisor and board member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute.
  • Working with nonprofit organizations that are looking at the future of science in the US and the communication surrounding it
  • Teaching at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley 
  • Product development advisor for different organizations  
  • Current board member of Pfizer 


*Listener Note: when the episode was recorded, the vaccines for Covid had not been approved by the FDA yet.

Be sure to follow Sue on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and connect with her on LinkedIn. Learn more about her work with Pfizer here

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Until next week; take in a deep breath to find your Happiness Oxygen.

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