For nearly four decades, Dr. William “Bill” Jenkins devoted himself to eliminating racial/ethnic health disparities and expanding opportunities for racial/ethnic minorities to enter and succeed in careers in biostatistics and epidemiology. Dr. Jenkins earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College, a Masters degree in biostatistics from Georgetown University, and an MPH and Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC). While at UNC, he helped to found the School of Public Health Annual Minority Health Conference. He also completed post-doctoral work in Biostatistics at Harvard University School of Public Health.
For 30 years Dr. Jenkins worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where he helped to end the infamous and unethical Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male and to establish initiatives to improve public health for African Americans and Native Americans. Before retiring, Dr. Jenkins worked with the UNC Institute of African American Research and as co-director of the Minority Health Project.
In addition to founding SAAPHI, Dr. Jenkins was been instrumental in founding the Institute for African American Health; establishing Project IMHOTEP; the Public Health Sciences Institute at Morehouse College; the Master of Public Health program at Morehouse School of Medicine, the first such program at a historically black institution.