Pernessa C. Seele

Founder & CEO


Dr. Seele is Founder and CEO of The Balm In Gilead, Inc., a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to prevent diseases and to improve the health status of individuals who are disproportionately affected by high rates of health disparities, especially HIV, hepatitis C, cervical cancer and sexual violence. Now in its 26th year, The Balm In Gilead is based in Richmond, VA (USA) and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The organization provides technical support to over 10,000 faith institutions regarding the implementation of health education and service programs.

Dr. Seele has worked with three US presidential administrations on issues of HIV/AIDS in the United States and abroad. She is known for her extraordinary vision and ability to create national and global partnerships among leaders of various cultures and religious doctrines in areas of health promotion and disease prevention. She is the recipient of numerous citations and honors including being featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 2006 as One of the Most Influential Persons In the World. Ebony Magazine selected Dr. Seele as one of their Power 150; Essence Magazine has honored her with numerous features. In its 35th Anniversary issue, she was named one of the 35 Most Beautiful And Remarkable Women In The World; In May 2010, Dr. Seele was selected as 21 Leaders of the 21st Century of Women E-News in New York City.

Dr. Seele is a licensed minister; an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; and a life-time member of The National Council of Negro Women. Dr. Seele received a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science from Clark Atlanta University in 1976 & 1979 respectively, and a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of New Rochelle, NY in 2007. She is a native of Lincolnville, SC.