Phyllis M. Wise

Phyllis M. Wise


Phyllis M. Wise, PhD, was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Board of Trustees in January 2014.

Wise, former chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, served as the chief executive officer for the flagship campus, with more than 44,000 students and nearly 1,900 tenure-track faculty from 2011 to 2015. From 2010 to 2011, Wise was interim president of the University of Washington. Before that she served as provost and executive vice president at the University of Washington for five years.

Wise has been nationally recognized for her administrative leadership as well as her accomplishments as a researcher in women’s health and gender-based biology. A physiologist by training, Wise is best known for her work investigating the influence that hormones have on the brains of women and men during their development, adulthood, and aging.

Earlier in her higher education career, Wise was dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis, for three years. Prior to that, she was professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1993 to 2001. Wise also was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, from 1976 to 1993, promoted through the ranks to full professor of physiology in 1987.

Wise is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. She also is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in biology and a doctorate degree in zoology from the University of Michigan. Wise also holds an honorary doctorate from Swarthmore College.

Additionally, Wise serves on the governing boards of NIKE, Inc., and the First Busey Corporation.