Alumni Profile: Wayne J. Riley

Wayne J. Riley, 1976 Delegate

1976 – Delegate from Brother Martin High School
Former– President and Chief Executive Officer, Meharry Medical College


Wayne Riley came to LYS as a delegate in 1976. He returned on staff and served as Junior Counselor in 1977 and 1978, as Counselor in 1979 and 1980, and as Staff Assistant in 1981. Wayne was inducted into the LYS 5 Year Club and the LYS Hall of Fame.

Currently, Dr. Wayne Joseph Riley serves as the 10th President and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he began his tenure in January 2007. Previously, he served as Vice President and Vice Dean for Health Affairs and Governmental Relations and Associate Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. At Houston’s Ben Taub General Hospital, he was Assistant Chief of Medicine and a practicing general internist and a resident alumnus of Baylor’s highly regarded internal medicine residency training program. In May 2004, Wayne received the Ben Taub General Hospital “Physician of the Year” Award in recognition of his outstanding professional achievements and dedication to employee-physician relationships through the delivery of patient centered care. Dr. Riley earned his B.A. degree from Yale University, a Master in Public Health from Tulane University, a Doctor of Medicine degree from Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and a Master of Business Administration from Rice University. Wayne served on many boards while in Houston, including Chair of the Harris County Hospital District Medical Board and Chair, Board of Directors, Catholic Charities. Since moving to Nashville, Dr. Riley has become actively involved in several community service organizations.

Early in his career and prior to pursuing a career in medicine, Wayne served for five years in various management and policy positions as a mayoral appointee and close aide to New Orleans’ Mayor Ernest “Dutch” Morial, rising at the age of 26 to be Executive Assistant to the Mayor for Intergovernmental Relations, the youngest in the city’s history.

Wayne and his wife, Dr. Charlene Dewey, reside in Nashville with their two daughters, Erin Elizabeth and Alexis Camille.

Wayne has continued to support the Louisiana Youth Seminar, even though he has not lived in Louisiana since the mid 1980’s. Wayne was born and reared in New Orleans and has a strong dedication to his home state.