The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) has selected Judy Schaechter, MD, MBA, to be its new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Dr. Schaechter will succeed David G. Nichols, MD, MBA, who will retire Dec. 31, 2021, after more than 25 years of association with the ABP.
Prior to assuming leadership of the ABP in December 2012, Dr. Nichols served more than 15 years as a volunteer — from chairing the Critical Care Subboard and MOC committees to membership on the ABP Board of Directors.
As President and CEO, Dr. Nichols ensured that the ABP remains one of the key leaders and conveners among pediatric organizations. He guided the ABP through many changes and improvements to advance the health of children, adolescents, and young adults. During his tenure, the ABP explored a new framework for assessing pediatric trainees, enhanced continuing certification, added patients and families to the conversation, significantly upgraded its technological capacity, launched a new subspecialty, began a behavioral and mental health initiative, and continued its services for pediatricians at full capacity during a global pandemic.
Under Dr. Nichols’ leadership, the ABP also launched MOCA-Peds, its highly successful online, non-proctored assessment platform. MOCA-Peds, designed to be “assessment for learning,” was one of the first programs of its type among certifying medical boards.
Dr. Schaechter is a practicing general pediatrician, educator, child health leader, and policy analyst. She most recently served as the Department Chair of Pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, for eight years. She is currently a Health Policy Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Washington, DC, where she works with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
In her role as chair at the Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Schaechter oversaw the largest department of pediatrics in South Florida. The department cares for patients in three hospitals, nine multi-specialty offices, nine additional school clinics, and two mobile clinics. It also includes two dedicated research and clinical buildings, a 150-student early education center, and is the region’s poison control and bio surveillance center.
In that role, Dr. Schaechter oversaw 150 faculty, 350 staff, 130 house staff. She also carried the role of Chief of Service for Child Health at Jackson Health System, one of the nation’s largest public hospitals. Prior to becoming the Department Chair at the Miller School, Dr. Schaechter served as the Associate Chair and Interim Chair of the department.
As a Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences, Dr. Schaechter focuses on maternal-child public health, preventive health, development and mental health, ethics, child health leadership, policy, and advocacy. As an educator and faculty leader, she has participated in her school’s efforts to improve undergraduate and graduate medical education, lead curriculum change, advance diversity and inclusion, and improve the climate for quality and safety.
Dr. Schaechter is a staunch advocate for children’s health and has significant board experience with organizations such as the American Heart Association of South Florida, the National Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Florida Healthy Kids, The Children’s Trust, the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida and the Miami Children’s Museum. Her roots are geared toward policy and advocacy issues around equity and disparities and how they interface with education.
She earned her BA in Religious Studies and Ethics from Brown University before completing her MD with honors at Stanford School of Medicine. Dr. Schaechter finished her pediatric internship and residency at Stanford University School of Medicine/Lucille Salter Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, CA. She later received her MBA from the University of Miami School of Business, where she was named valedictorian.
She currently lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, Roberto, and their son and daughter.
Dr. Schaechter will begin shadowing Dr. Nichols in October 2021 and will assume her new role on Jan. 1, 2022.
The search committee to fill the ABP President and CEO position was led by H. Stacy Nicholson, 2021 Chair of the ABP Board of Directors and the ABP Foundation Board of Directors, and Victoria F. Norwood, 2020 Chair of the ABP Board of Directors and the ABP Foundation Board of Directors.