The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has announced Dr. Laura Gerald as the foundation’s next president. Gerald currently serves as market medical director for Evolent Health in Raleigh and formerly served as the North Carolina state health director. A pediatrician who was born and raised in rural North Carolina, Gerald brings decades of leadership experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors to one of the state’s largest private foundations charged with improving the health and quality of life of financially disadvantaged North Carolinians.

“I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to help further the mission of the Trust and the legacy of Kate Reynolds,” Gerald says. “I grew up in Robeson County with a supportive family and community that allowed me to go on to have tremendous educational and professional experiences. I am giving back to the state by dedicating myself, both personally and professionally, to improving the lives of North Carolinians, particularly our most vulnerable and underserved populations.”

At Evolent Health, Gerald leads teams to develop and implement clinical programs that transform healthcare delivery. Prior to joining Evolent Health in 2014, she served as the state health director and director of the Division of Public Health for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing an $800 million budget and 1,800 employees.

Prior to her recent work, Gerald also served as the executive director of the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission, which awarded approximately $30 million in grants around the state annually. She also worked as a pediatrician in her hometown of Lumberton for more than ten years after completing medical school. Gerald holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and Radcliffe colleges, a medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University School of Public Health.

She is very active in the nonprofit and medical community, serving over the years on many boards including Action for Children North Carolina, North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the North Carolina Pediatric Society. She is an American Academy of Pediatrics fellow and an adjunct assistant professor at UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health.

Gerald’s selection is the result of a national search led by Wells Fargo, which serves as the sole trustee of the foundation. Former President Karen McNeil-Miller left departed the position in 2015 and Gerald will arrive in early July.