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“Duty Calls: An Unexpected Life of Service”

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed Dr. Novello as the 14th Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service, the first woman and the first Hispanic ever to hold this position. Join us on Wednesday, March 27, as she discusses her relationship with President Bush, her career, and her mission to improve health and wellness around the world.

In her new autobiography, “Duty Calls: An Unexpected Life of Service,” she tells about how her medical struggles as a child in rural Puerto Rico fueled her passion for public health. In a distinguished career spanning four decades, including serving as the Commissioner of Health for the State of New York during 9/11, her enduring commitment to service has left an indelible mark on the world of public health. “Duty Calls: An Unexpected Life of Service” is a testament to the enduring power of public service.

Dr. Novello’s story is one of challenges faced and overcome, of resilience and perseverance, and of shattering glass ceilings and opening doors for future generations of leaders. From her struggles to her celebrations to her tireless advocacy for the health of young people, each chapter offers a glimpse into the resilience and wisdom that have shaped her life, unveiling the profound lessons she has gathered along the way.

Dr. Antonia Coello Novello was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. She earned a BS from the University of Puerto Rico and an MD from the University of Puerto Rico Medical School. She completed her internship/residency in pediatrics at the University of Michigan, and fellowships in pediatric and adult nephrology at the University of Michigan and Georgetown University. She earned a master’s and a doctorate of public health from Johns Hopkins University.

The evening will begin with a book sale and signing at 5:30 p.m. at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, and Dr. Novello’s talk will begin at 6:30. RSVP using the link below, or email


Time: Mar. 27, 2024 | 5:30 p.m. Book signing, 6:30 p.m. Program

Location: Annenberg Presidential Conference Center