Rebecca W. Rimel is president and chief executive officer of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a public charity driven by the power of knowledge to solve some of today’s most challenging problems. Pew applies an analytical, fact-based approach to improving policy, informing the public, and invigorating civic life.
Rimel joined Pew in 1983 as health program manager, became executive director five years later, and accepted her current position in 1994. During her tenure, Pew has evolved from a grant-making organization to become one of the nation’s most innovative and influential public charities. With the board’s guidance, Ms. Rimel has led the organization’s expansion from fewer than 10 employees to more than 1,000 located throughout the United States and around the globe. Pew has maintained its deep roots in Philadelphia, providing research and analysis to help the city’s leaders and citizens understand key issues, while also supporting the cultural community and assisting vulnerable local residents. Pew’s Washington D.C. office focuses on conservation, health, state, and consumer policy initiatives. The Pew Research Center, an internationally known public opinion research center, is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
As a public charity, Pew partners with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share its commitment to data-driven solutions and goal-based investments to improve society.
Prior to joining Pew, Rimel built an exemplary career in health care. She was the first nurse to hold a faculty position at the University of Virginia’s (UVA) medical school, serving as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery. She was head nurse of the emergency department at the University of Virginia Hospital and has authored numerous scientific articles on head injury. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award from UVA and the UVA Women’s Center Distinguished Alumni Award. She was also awarded a Kellogg National Fellowship, a four-year professional enrichment opportunity for emerging leaders.
Rimel earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with distinction, from the UVA School of Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from James Madison University. She serves on the board of directors for Becton, Dickinson and Co.; Deutsche US Funds; and BioTelemetry Inc. She also is a trustee emeritus of Monticello (the Thomas Jefferson Foundation), a fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, along with its prestigious Wistar Association.