Barbara Stoll Reflects on Leadership Transition at CMB


As our trustees announced in January, CMB has embarked on a leadership transition, as Roger Glass begins his tenure as CMB President, and I step into the role of Senior Advisor to CMB. With this transition, I am confident that CMB is entering a period of exceptional promise – one that will build on our long-standing relationships throughout Asia; expand to include new collaborators – in the region and globally – who share our commitment to improving health and well-being; and continue our investments in the next generation of leaders for health and equity. 

If you are familiar with Roger’s career, I am sure you can already anticipate the ways in which his deep experience in global health and his unparalleled international network will bring fresh insights and energy to CMB’s work. Building relationships with scientists, researchers, and medical and public health professionals throughout the world was one of the hallmarks of his leadership roles at both the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US National Institutes of Health, most notably his tenure as the longest-serving Director of the Fogarty International Center. Roger’s experience, extensive network, and remarkable ability to connect with others will help CMB multiply the impact of the work CMB currently supports and open new avenues for collaboration.

Roger and I have followed different paths over the course of our careers in medicine, but we have been guided by common principles and goals. Our professional experiences have shown us that the roles of mentor, advisor, and steadfast colleague are an essential part of leadership.  These roles often play out in quiet, subtle ways, and they build up the human resources, institutional partnerships, and collaborative networks needed to address the challenges we face. Roger and I have played these roles as individuals, and we appreciate the ways in which CMB has played them on an institutional level – helping to connect institutions and individuals in China and Southeast Asia with their international peers, in ways that promote a mutually beneficial exchange of expertise, lived experience, and ideas—collaborative work that benefits the global community.

We both have been fortunate to work at wonderful institutions, alongside dedicated colleagues.  For me, CMB has been another link in this chain of excellence, and I know Roger will find this to be true as well. We appreciate that as CMB has worked to develop, sustain, and collaborate with centers of excellence, it does so with the purpose of extending benefits to a broader population, including people who may lack access to quality care due to geographical location, socioeconomic conditions, or marginalized status.

Supporting the career development of young professionals and emerging leaders has long been a priority for both of us. And, indeed, one of the most rewarding aspects of my tenure as president has been helping CMB support the next generation of talent and leadership through a variety of programs, including the Clinical Scholars Innovation Grants Program, the Global Health Leadership Development Program, and the Equity Initiative, CMB’s most comprehensive leadership development program focused on health equity and social justice. While variable in scale, these programs represent a longer-term investment in the human resources needed to sustain CMB’s mission of advancing health, equity, and the quality of care.

CMB is opening a new chapter in its long history, but I know that as an institution and as a dedicated group of trustees and staff, it will remain true to its history of collaboratively working to make the world a healthier place. A heartfelt thank you to all our partners, our trustees, and our staff, for making my tenure as president such a rewarding journey!

Barbara J. Stoll, MD