Press Releases

January 05, 2021

Betsy Nabel, MD, to Step Down as President of Brigham Health

Effective March 1, Nabel will focus her energies on biotech innovation

Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel, MD, announced today that she will step down as president on March 1, 2021, after 11 years in this role. Anne Klibanski, MD, President and CEO of Mass General Brigham, will initiate a succession planning process in collaboration with the Boards of Trustees.

Throughout her tenure, Nabel’s focus has been on strengthening the organization for the future. She has been committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce and is credited with recruiting the first female and underrepresented minority department chairs. Under her leadership, the hospital has fostered early-stage technology development activities through the creation of the Translational Accelerator and other programs of the Brigham Research Institute. These resources are dedicated to educating and supporting clinicians and researchers and encouraging the development of next-generation therapeutics and technologies faster and more efficiently. She’s led the Brigham through unprecedented financial challenges, growing revenues from $2.9 billion in 2010 to $4.3 billion in 2020, providing funds needed to support investments in facilities and technology infrastructure.                                           

“It’s been an extraordinary honor and privilege to serve as president of Brigham Health. I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished together in support of our mission and vision to create a healthier community and a healthier world,” said Nabel. “I am truly inspired by everyone at the Brigham, particularly the way in which they approach every challenge with compassion, curiosity, collaboration and a commitment to excellence. The Brigham is a very special community — one that will remain in my heart forever.”

“Dr. Nabel’s announcement today caps off more than a decade of exemplary leadership during which she led one of our flagship institutions with vision and compassion,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, President and CEO of Mass General Brigham. “Through her leadership at the system level, Betsy has helped shape our vision of a leading integrated academic health system, allowing us to meet the needs of our patients in a much more impactful way. I am extremely grateful for Betsy’s leadership over these past 11 years and wish her all the best in her future pursuits.”

“For more than a decade, through some of the most challenging circumstances that a health care institution could face, Betsy has led with grit and grace,” said John Fish, Chair of the Brigham Health Board of Trustees. “She has positioned the Brigham to deliver on its longstanding legacy of providing the highest-quality, most innovative care for our patients, pursuing breakthroughs and innovations through biomedical research, training the next generation of health care providers and eradicating health care disparities, locally and globally.”

Since joining the Brigham as president and CEO in January 2010, Nabel has led the hospital’s efforts to:

  • Execute a $1.75 billion fundraising campaign, the largest hospital campaign in Boston’s history, of which $867 million was earmarked for research to ensure continued support for the pursuit of breakthroughs and innovation through biomedical research and discovery.
  • Transform the physical campus, including the establishment of the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine, Stoneman Centennial Park, the Smith Family NICU, the John and Cynthia Fish Rotunda, and restoration of many of the main common areas of the hospital.
  • Ensure seamless integration with Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital to improve patient experience, strengthen efforts to provide care in the local community and build capacity for more complex care to be delivered at the main campus.
  • Launch the Brigham Education Institute in 2016 to support the hospital’s legacy of providing world-class medical education to trainees, faculty and other health care professionals from across the globe.

During her tenure, the Brigham has routinely ranked on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of Best Hospitals, received the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader designation, earned an A in Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Grade program, and earned Press Ganey’s Pinnacle of Excellence Award in the category of Patient Experience in Inpatient Care for three consecutive years, starting in 2018.

Additionally, Nabel has been named one of the nation’s top leaders in medicine by Modern Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review, and one of Boston’s 50 most powerful people by Boston magazine. Her honors include the Distinguished Bostonian Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians, the Champion in Health Care Award from the Boston Business Journal, the Willem Einthoven Award from Leiden University in the Netherlands, the Amgen-Scientific Achievement Award, two Distinguished Achievement Awards and the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award from the American Heart Association, and nine honorary doctorates. Her colleagues have elected her to the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and she is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.