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David Ballard ’78, ’83 M.D., ’83 MSPH, ’91 Ph.D., ‘21 M.B.A.


Chancellor's Global Leadership Council

David J. Ballard, a citizen of the United States and Ireland, is a board-certified internist who trained at Mayo Clinic following degrees in chemistry, economics, epidemiology and medicine at the University of North Carolina where he was a Morehead Scholar, North Carolina Fellow, junior-year Phi Beta Kappa inductee and subsequent Beta Gamma Sigma honors MBA graduate of the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Ballard served as an assistant and then associate professor at Mayo Medical School, a tenured associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, a tenured professor of medicine in the Emory University School of Medicine, and professor of epidemiology in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. He joined the Baylor Health Care System (BHCS) in 1999 as senior vice president and its first chief quality officer and, upon the merger in 2013 of BHCS and Scott & White Health, became the chief quality officer of Baylor Scott & White Health (BSWH), the largest health care system in Texas.

Ballard served on the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Foundation Board and on the Ascension’s Gulf Coast Health Ministry Board. He is a past president of the International Society for Quality in Health Care and served on the founding board of Campus Bio-Medico based in Rome, Italy. He was named the 2008 Distinguished Medical Alumnus by the UNC School of Medicine and the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus by the UNC Department of Epidemiology, Ballard serves as adjunct professor of health policy and management in the UNC Gillings Global School of Public Health, and was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “50 experts leading the field of patient safety” for four consecutive years. He was president and clinical officer and subsequently elected as a Director of Mentice, the world’s leader in virtual reality‐based interventional medical simulation solutions. Since July 2022 he has served as the Chief Clinical Officer for Buffkin / Baker, one of the world’s leading executive search firms, founded by UNC alumnus Craig Buffkin. Ballard’s wife, Michela Caruso is a senior partner radiation oncologist in Texas Oncology, the world’s largest independent, physician-led oncology group. She and their children, Elisa and Alessandro, are citizens of the United States and Italy. They divide their time between their farm in Tobia, Viterbo, Lazio and residences in Dallas, Texas and in Keystone, Colorado