Jessica Bibliowicz, Chair of the Membership Council, Weill Cornell Medicine
Jessica Bibliowicz is chair of the board of directors of Weill Cornell Medicine. A successful entrepreneur in the financial services industry for three decades, Bibliowicz has served on the Board of Fellows for the past 15 years. She was previously President and CEO of National Financial Partners (NFP), a financial services company specializing in employee benefits and wealth management. Jessica is a member of the Cornell University Board of Trustees, a member of the New York-Presbyterian Board of Trustees, and a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Board of Prudential Insurance Funds.
Bibliowicz is a graduate of Cornell University, has two sons and lives with her husband in New York.
Angela Chan: Can you tell us about the $ 1.5 billion fundraising campaign for Weill Cornell Medicine?
Jessica Bibliowicz: the We are changing medicine The campaign is the largest in the history of Weill Cornell Medicine and its first campaign in decades to advance and synergize the three institutional missions: heal, discover and teach. This will help fuel the unique and innovative work that Weill Cornell Medicine is currently doing and shape a fair future for medicine. It will reinvent the foundational science landscape, invest in research discoveries at the bedside, including a precision health enterprise that focuses on personalized disease prevention and treatment, and support a diverse and talented student body.
The past year has shown us how essential science and medicine are to our communities, our country and the world. The work done in our academic medical center can propel research in a way that saves millions of lives and sets new standards of compassionate and personalized care for patients around the world.
We surpassed half of our goal of $ 1.5 billion, with over $ 750 million raised. We have three foundational gifts that will no doubt inspire others throughout this campaign.
Chan: Who are the major donors and how will some of the generous donations be used to propel the future of medicine?
Bibliowicz: In the fall of 2019, a new transformative scholarship program was created by Weill Cornell Medicine with a principal donation of Joan and Sanford I. Weill and the Weill Family Foundation — in partnership with the Starr Foundation, chaired by Board member Hank Greenberg.
Through these historic donations, including those from other generous donors that totaled $ 160 million, the scholarship program has already changed medicine and the lives of hundreds of students who will graduate debt-free from our medical school. .
We are very proud of our Debt Free Medical Education program because we have new data that has fostered a more diverse student body. Applications to Weill Cornell Medical College’s 2024 class of under-represented medical students reached 29%, up from 20% the year before. To ensure the sustainability of this program, we will need to raise an additional $ 40 million to fully fund its scholarship endowment.
A remarkable donation of $ 55 million from Lee and Jeffrey Feil and the Feil family will support the construction of a state-of-the-art student residence on East 74th Street, expanding the Weill Cornell campus. The new student residence will create a modern environment to further enrich our students’ medical education – prepare them to be the healthcare leaders of tomorrow – and attract the best and brightest future physicians to our campus. Jeffrey Feil and the Feil family have long been steadfast donors to Weill Cornell Medicine, and this incredible donation builds on their impressive dedication to our students and their well-being.
Leadership gifts like these allow us to see bigger than before and take giant leaps as an institution.
Chan: Can you talk about your journey of transitioning from a very successful career on Wall Street to a philanthropic role? Why philanthropy?
Bibliowicz: There hasn’t been a real transition between my career and my board positions because I’ve always balanced the two – working and giving at the same time. Organizations need the expertise, connections and business acumen that board members provide. On the other hand, a charity’s mission orientation makes business leaders more engaged and more in tune with their community. Charity work has become such an important part of my life because this is where I found my passion. It’s global, so it becomes your life.
Chan: If you could go back in time and knowing what you know today, what advice would you have given yourself early in your career?
Bibliowicz: If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to stay open to possibilities. It only occurred to me later in life that I would be so moved by science and medicine. The person you are at 25 isn’t always who you are going to be, and you can change paths later in life to find and follow your passion.
Chan: Any advice for female executives looking for their first board position? Where to start ?
Bibliowicz: If you want to join a board, find a way to connect your work life with your personal life, so you don’t stretch too much. It is important to make sure that the mission of the organization is linked to your expertise or passion, as it is much more difficult to make a time commitment if you are just taking action. When you are deeply connected, you are deep and you can make it flourish.
Chan: Anything else you would like to let our readers know?
Bibliowicz: Weill Cornell Medicine has faced some of the country’s most pressing health concerns and rose to the challenge. Our culture of fairness, diversity and justice for our patients and communities, embraced by our students, staff and faculty, fosters excellence across our institution.
The pandemic has brought to light the importance of medicine and science. When people feel needed and see that they can add value in many ways, not just by donating money, they forge a deeper commitment. Many members of the Board of Fellows have come to know Weill Cornell better than ever.
One of the reasons Weill Cornell Medicine is attractive is that we can share the science with our donors. Our doctors, researchers and students can talk about things so fascinating, so exciting and so promising. It’s hard to say, “I don’t want to invest in the future of medicine.
This campaign underlines our commitment to treat the whole patient, the whole family, throughout their life, using the most advanced and revolutionary treatments. We also teach the next generation of thought leaders, as nearly 45% of our students go on to become university medical professors. It is a very exciting time for science and medicine, and Weill Cornell Medicine is ready to lead the way.