Find A PhysicianHome  |  Library  |  myDownstate  |  Newsroom  |  A-Z Guide  |  E-mail  |  Contact Us  |  Directions

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

President's Biography

photo of Wayne Riley

Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP, was appointed President of The State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees as the 17th president of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in January of 2017. Downstate is the only academic medical center in Brooklyn and one of four academic health centers in SUNY's 64-campus system.

Before Dr. Riley’s appointment at Downstate, he served as clinical professor of Medicine and adjunct professor of Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Prior to Vanderbilt, Dr. Riley served as the 10th president, chief executive officer, and professor of Medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Riley is an academic primary care general internist with more than 25 years of progressive senior executive level management, policy, and leadership experiences in academic medicine, patient care, research administration, academic health center administration, health care management, health policy, biotechnology, the corporate sector, government service, advocacy, and organized medicine.

Dr. Riley earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Morehouse School of Medicine, a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology with a concentration in Medical Anthropology from Yale University, and a Master of Public Health degree in health systems management from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He also earned a Master's in Business Administration from Rice University's Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. Dr. Riley completed his residency training in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where he rose from instructor of medicine to vice president and vice dean for Health Affairs and Governmental Relations. He also held an associate professorship of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Riley is immediate past president and president emeritus of the American College of Physicians (ACP). He has served as chair of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences as an elected member of the Administration of Health Services, Education, and Research, and is recognized as a master of ACP. Dr. Riley also served as a member and secretary treasurer of the Society of Medical Administrators, a member of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, and as a member of the Sullivan Alliance to Diversify the Health Professions.

Dr. Riley is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including election to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Arnold P. Gold Medical Humanism Honor Society, and the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society. He also received the SUNY Downstate Ailanthous Award for Outstanding Public Health Leadership, a Doctorate of Humane Letters (D.H.L.) honorary degree from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a Doctorate of Science honorary degree from Tuskegee University.

A Brooklyn resident, Dr. Riley currently serves on the boards of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the YMCA of Greater New York, and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.