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Michael Penn

Board Member

Michael L. Penn, Jr., MD, PhD is the founding partner of Health Equity Ventures--an emerging investment platform investing in diverse entrepreneurs and disruptive companies focused on addressing the enormous unmet needs of underserved populations.  Through the advisory arm of HEV he leverages deep knowledge of modern neuroscience with mindful awareness and ancient wisdom practices to offer a suite of strategy, innovation, and DEI services for healthcare organizations, technology companies and startups.  He has served as an advisor to TEDMED, Hopelab (a social innovation non-profit that creates behavior-change tech to help teens and young adults) and to diversity and innovation firm Culture Shift Labs where he helped build the country’s largest community of diverse healthcare executives, entrepreneurs, and investors. Dr. Penn began his career at Genentech working in Marketing and Business Development where he led cross-functional teams to support product launches, technology due diligence, creative deal structuring, and the company’s personalized medicine strategy.  After Genentech, he was recruited to become a Vice President at the Gladstone Institutes, where he led multiple functions including diversity, outreach, fundraising, PR, communications, marketing, and leadership development. He was later selected to become the CEO of Gladstone Foundation, directing an operation that raised over $10M annually. He co-authored the book Finding Your North and was co-founder of the non-profit, Building Diversity in Science—an organization that encouraged students of color to pursue careers in science.  Dr. Penn was also appointed by former Mayor Willie Brown to serve as one of seven Commissioners responsible for governing San Francisco’s Department of Public Health. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees at St. Francis Memorial Hospital, a Common Spirit Health community hospital and is also a Board Member at the women’s health-focused Tara Health Foundation.  He holds a B.S. in Biology from HBCU Morehouse College and he received his MD and PhD from UCSF.


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