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Stamford, Conn. – July 6, 2020 – Americares, the health-focused relief and development organization, is pleased to announce the election of retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Dr. Nadja West to its Board of Directors. Dr. West, who served as U.S. Army Surgeon General and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command until 2019, is the highest-ranking female to have graduated from West Point. Her three-year term on the Americares board began July 1.
“Nadja’s rise up the ranks to three-star general and her dedication to serving her country is truly inspiring,” said Americares President and CEO Christine Squires. “Her distinguished medical career and leadership experience will provide invaluable insight as we work to increase access to quality health services for people around the world.”
A trailblazer in the armed forces, Dr. West was the first Black woman to be named the Army’s Surgeon General. Prior to that, Dr. West worked as the Joint Staff Surgeon at the Pentagon where she oversaw the U.S. Department of Defense’s medical response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak. She also previously served as commanding general of Europe Regional Medical Command and commander of Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
“Serving our nation as a soldier and an Army physician for over 30 years was the greatest honor,” Dr. West said. “I am thrilled to be able to continue to serve as part of Americares, an organization dedicated to assisting the most vulnerable around the world in their time of need.”
The Americares Board of Directors oversees all aspects of the organization’s life-changing health programs including its disaster response work and support for under-resourced hospitals and health clinics worldwide. Americares helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters; increase access to medicine and medical supplies; improve and expand clinical services; and prevent disease and promote good health. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided more than $18 billion in aid to 164 countries, including the United States.
Dr. West, a Washington, D.C., native, earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the National Defense University. She holds a medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency in family medicine at Martin Army Hospital. She deployed during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield while assigned there. Dr. West completed a second residency in dermatology at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center and the University of Colorado Medical Center. She was then assigned as the chief of dermatology service at Heidelberg Army Hospital in Germany.
Dr. West was recently named a Hauser Leader by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership and is the recipient of numerous military awards including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. She also serves on the boards of directors for Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Nucor Corporation. She lives in Maryland with her husband Don.