News and Commentary After A Decade, George E. Thibault, MD to Step Down as President of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

New York, NY— After 10 years at the helm, Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation President George E. Thibault, MD announced today that he will step down at the end of June 2018.

“It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve in this role,” said Thibault. “I’m proud to have led the Macy Foundation through an exciting period of great changes in health professions education, to keep pace with the changes in health care delivery and to better prepare future generations of health professionals to meet society’s health needs.”

Under Dr. Thibault’s leadership, the Macy Foundation—the only national philanthropy solely dedicated to improving the education of health professionals—has had an oversized impact on better aligning the education of health professionals with contemporary health needs and a changing health care system.

A major feature of this alignment has been the Foundation’s promotion of interprofessional education in which students of two or more health professions learn about, from and with each other in order to be better able to practice collaboratively in the future. The success of Macy Foundation grants to institutions nationally and recommendations of Macy Conferences have helped to change the educational paradigm, breaking down the traditional silo-approach to health professions education. The Macy Foundation also played a central role in the creation of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education.

Under Thibault’s leadership, the Macy Foundation also has supported the introduction of new content (such as quality improvement, systems science and professionalism) into health professions education and promoted new-models-for-clinical-education that are more longitudinal and community-based. The Macy Foundation has played an important role in reforming graduate medical education (GME) of physicians through its conference reports, support of the Institute of Medicine study Graduate Medical Education that Meets the Nation’s Health Needs, and sponsorship of regional meetings on innovations in GME.

Thibault also created the Macy Faculty Scholars Program to develop the careers of innovators and leaders in nursing and medical education. Since 2011, 36 Scholars have been named, and they are assuming leadership roles locally and nationally while promoting educational change. The Scholars have called this experience transformative.

“The Scholars program was a dream of mine since I arrived at the Macy Foundation. I have always believed that our generative role, nurturing and growing the next generation of leaders in our professions, is our most important and rewarding responsibility,” said Thibault.

Building upon the foundation’s legacy of convening academic, educational and health leaders to take on important issues in education and practice, Thibault organized 10 Macy Conferences during his 10 years. Those Macy Conferences resulted in impactful recommendations on issues ranging from partnering with patients in health professions education, to elevating registered nurses’ role in primary care, to leveraging technology in education and more.

“George has been an extraordinary leader of the Macy Foundation, forging new thinking and new paradigms for the education of health professionals, while burnishing the foundation’s over 80 year legacy as a vanguard for change,” said board chairman William H. Wright II. “Under his visionary leadership, Macy’s star has burned brighter than any of us could have imagined. He leaves behind a rich and impactful personal legacy that will continue to inform the Macy mission and the ever-evolving field of medical education.”

Thibault has served as president of the Macy Foundation since January 2008.

The Macy Foundation board of directors will conduct a national search for Thibault’s successor. Spencer Stuart will conduct the search and inquiries should be directed to Alexis Stiles ( and Sarah Larsen (

Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has worked to improve health care in the United States. Founded by Kate Macy Ladd in memory of her father, prominent businessman Josiah Macy Jr., the Foundation supports projects that broaden and improve health professional education. It is the only national foundation solely dedicated to this mission. Visit the Macy Foundation at and follow on Twitter at @macyfoundation.

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