Bachelor, Loyola College, 1974. Master of Arts, Loyola College, 1979. Doctor of Science, Johns Hopkins University, 1984.
Specialist, scientist South African Medical Research Council, 1991—1994. Special advisory South African Minsitry of Health, South Africa, 1994—1995. Director general South African Department Health, South Africa, 1995—1998.
Executive director World Health Organization, Geneva, 1998—2000. Professor, head of department Medical University South Africa, South Africa, 2000—2001. Executive director Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa, 2001—2005, president, Chief Executive Officer South Africa, since 2005.
Advisory board Univen, Venda University, since 2004, African Genone Education Institute, Cape Town, South Africa, 2004, George Washington University, 2005.
Member of United States Congressional Black Caucus, Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
Married William Shisana. Children: Nkateko, Fumani.