WDI Board Appoints Taylor as New President 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Wendy Taylor


Wendy Taylor, In-coming President & CEO 

Wendy Taylor brings expertise in public, private and nonprofit arenas, with a focus on global innovation

After an international search, the William Davidson Institute’s Board of Directors is delighted to announce the appointment of Wendy Taylor as the Institute’s next President and CEO, effective July 15. Taylor brings a wealth of experience and leadership in global innovation and entrepreneurship to the role.

Taylor’s career spans across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, where she has consistently demonstrated a commitment to harnessing innovation and market-based solutions for accelerated global impact. She most recently served as Vice President of Technical Leadership and Innovation at Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. At Jhpiego, she led and managed a multidisciplinary global team focused on women’s health care, infectious diseases and health systems innovation across 43 countries.

“It is my pleasure to welcome Wendy to the William Davidson Institute,” said Sharon Matusik, the Edward J. Frey Dean of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and chair of WDI’s Board of Directors. “She brings passion, an entrepreneurial spirit, a collaborative mindset, and a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role, and I look forward to partnering with her to lead the Institute.”

WDI, an independent nonprofit organization affiliated with the University of Michigan, is poised to continue its mission under Taylor’s leadership. Taylor is WDI’s fourth president since the Institute was founded in 1992.

“I am thrilled and honored to be joining the William Davidson Institute at a time of great global transformation in the role of business in global development,” Taylor said. “WDI is well known for its capacity to take on incredible global challenges and co-create solutions to unlock both economic opportunity and social progress. I’m very excited to carry on this mission.”

It is my pleasure to welcome Wendy to the William Davidson Institute. She brings passion, an entrepreneurial spirit, a collaborative mindset, and a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role, and I look forward to partnering with her to lead the Institute.

Taylor holds a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.

Taylor is a respected thought leader and innovation pioneer, successfully building, growing and leading organizations. While at USAID, she founded and built the Center for Innovation and Impact to catalyze groundbreaking innovations and apply business and market-based thinking to help accelerate the adoption, scale, and impact of lifesaving innovations. Earlier in her career, she founded Bio Ventures for Global Health to harness the power of biotechnology to tackle diseases prevalent in low- and middle-income countries.

Across her career, Taylor’s work has focused on tapping the cutting edge of science and technology and leveraging market-based solutions to tackle entrenched global challenges. As a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, she pushed for strategic investments in artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to modernize global epidemic intelligence systems to better prepare for and respond to pandemics. At USAID, she launched multiple Grand Challenges to spur the development of innovations from new devices and technologies designed to save the lives of mothers and newborns to enhanced personal protective equipment that ensures the safety of health care workers. She also spearheaded a range of innovative finance deals and market incentives to ensure access to capital and viable markets so entrepreneurs can succeed and scale.

“I firmly believe in the power of innovation and markets to solve tough challenges in health and climate. Now more than ever, the private sector has a crucial role to play in driving sustainable solutions to secure the health of our planet and its people,” Taylor remarked.

Matusik thanked outgoing WDI President Paul Clyde for his two, five-year terms as WDI’s leader, which included expanding WDI’s offerings across Training and Consulting teams into energy, healthcare delivery, and innovative student projects in business development and small business investing.

With Taylor’s appointment, the William Davidson Institute looks forward to a new chapter of innovation, collaboration and impact under her capable leadership.

About WDI

At the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, unlocking the power of business to provide lasting economic and social prosperity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is in our DNA. We gather the data, develop new models, test concepts and collaborate with partners to find real solutions that lead to new opportunities. This is what we mean by Solving for Business—our calling since the Institute was first founded as an independent nonprofit educational organization in 1992. We believe societies that empower individuals with the tools and skills to excel in business, in turn generate both economic growth and social freedom—or the agency necessary for people to thrive.

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