Mary Beth Powers, President, Catholic Medical Mission Board
Honoree, Hope Harvest 2024

Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) President Mary Beth Powers’ career spans 30 years with various non-profits strengthening the provision of primary healthcare, water and sanitation, and social support services.  She has supported teams in more than 25 countries with strategic planning, technical support, advocacy, and coalition building.

At CMMB, Mary Beth leads a team of professionals, who deliver an annual average of $400 million worth of donated pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to clinics, hospitals, and ministries of health globally. As a 110-year-old faith-inspired organization, CMMB is a leader in program development that strengthens local health systems and puts community members at the center of healthcare planning. Inspired by the organization’s commitment to Catholic social teaching, Mary Beth ensures the work reflects a focus on subsidiarity and solidarity, accompanying communities that face inequities.

Before joining CMMB, Mary Beth served as the Vice President of Programs at Dalio Philanthropies, and she previously served as the CEO of SeriousFun Children’s Network founded by Paul Newman to provide opportunities for children with life-threatening illnesses to test their limits and build resilience at camp experiences.

Prior to 2014, Mary Beth spent most of her career supporting maternal and child programs at Save the Children, eventually becoming the lead on the Newborn & Child Survival Campaign to address policy and program priorities in partnership with other leading organizations working to reduce child mortality. While at Save the Children, she helped launch the Frontline Health Workers Coalition as the founding chair, which continues to advocate for support of Frontline Health Workers who deliver basic health care around the world.

She studied at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica between her undergraduate degree at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate work in public health at the University of Michigan.  In 2023, Mary Beth was awarded a Doctor of Laws honorary degree from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, in recognition of her advocacy in global health, along with the faith-inspired perspective she brings to the field. Also in 2023, Mary Beth was named to the Forbes 50 Over 50 list of Impact Leaders for her exceptional leadership and dedication to making a positive impact around the world.

For the past five years, Mary Beth and her husband John have been active members of the Mariandale faith community, regularly attending Saturday afternoon services and inviting friends and relatives to join the community as well.  She has participated in retreats and learning opportunities at Mariandale, and her whole CMMB team has found a second home at Mariandale, having enjoyed four all-staff retreats on the campus over the past three years.   Her staff from all over the US, as well as colleagues from Haiti, Peru, Kenya, Zambia and South Sudan have bonded and taken learning journeys together at Mariandale while finding the natural beauty of God’s creation a great place for reflection and intentional planning.

 

 

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