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Children’s National Hospital names Michelle Riley-Brown as new CEO to succeed Kurt Newman

The Children’s National Board of Directors announced that Michelle Riley-Brown, MHA, FACHE, has been named as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Children’s National Hospital. On July 1, Riley-Brown will succeed Kurt Newman, M.D. , who is retiring after 11 years as president and CEO.

Riley-Brown is an accomplished executive with over 20 years of experience leading and supporting children’s healthcare. She is currently an executive vice president at Texas Children’s Hospital at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, TX, where she serves concurrently as the president of two hospitals in the system while leading the construction and staffing of a third. She also leads system-level operations, strategic planning, physician practice acquisition, quality performance, clinical operations, fund development, marketing, brand management and public relations for the nation’s largest pediatric and women’s healthcare organization.

“The prestige of Children’s National attracted a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates from across the country,” said Horacio Rozanski, chair of the Children’s National Board of Directors. “Among that competitive field, Michelle was a standout. Her dynamic leadership style paired with a wealth of experience and deep commitment to the highest quality of care for children is unmatched.”

Children’s National is ranked #5 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Riley-Brown will lead the organization’s 8,500 employees, who deliver care at locations throughout the D.C. metropolitan area. The Children’s National Research Institute is one of the top-funded pediatric research institutions in terms of National Institutes of Health support. The organization is also a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels.

“I am honored by the opportunity to work among the very best care teams, researchers, leaders and board members. Children’s National has an incredible foundation of quality based on a 150-year plus history of excellence. I look forward to building strong relationships within the community to deliver world class pediatric healthcare,” said Riley-Brown. “I cannot wait to get started.”

Dr. Newman, who has been with the organization for nearly 40 years, supported the Board’s search efforts. He became CEO in 2011 and announced his decision to retire in September 2022 saying the best time for an organization to advance succession plans is when an organization is strong. He continues to lead Children’s National until the July 1 transition.

“The Board made an incredible choice. I am impressed by her brilliant and thoughtful approach coupled with her empathy and passion for kids,” said Dr. Newman. “I will do everything I can to support Michelle and she will be surrounded by a strong leadership team. Together, they will continue to work tirelessly to deliver on our mission of excelling in care, advocacy, research, and education.”

Riley-Brown received her bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and completed her Master of Healthcare Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. She went on to complete her administrative fellowship at Texas Children’s and built her career with that organization for the past 20 years.

In 2021, she was among the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Honorees. The Houston Business Journal included Riley-Brown in their list of Women Who Mean Business in 2018. Michelle serves on a number of boards that support the Houston community.

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