Meet the 2024 Leader of Today Awardee
2024 Leader of Today Awardee
Annette M. Walker, MHA
Annette M. Walker is the visionary President of City of Hope Orange County who has gained a national reputation for her industry-changing insights, outstanding leadership, and keen abilities to bring people together and achieve extraordinary results.
Twice recognized as one of the most influential leaders in U.S. healthcare by Modern Healthcare, Annette has been at the helm of many top organizations in her field. She considers her leadership at City of Hope among her most important roles as she is transforming cancer care for generations of patients in the nation’s sixth largest county.
In 2022, Annette and her team fulfilled a promise made to Orange County to open City of Hope Orange County Lennar Foundation Cancer Center in Irvine, Calif. — Orange County’s most advanced comprehensive cancer center.
Annette and team also broke ground on the county’s only specialty cancer hospital, opening in 2025. The academic cancer campus creates a national model for delivering breakthrough research and pioneering treatments. Annette has also established a network of clinical locations that brings lifesaving services even closer to those who need them.
Annette has built her career on seeking innovative solutions, ensuring sound business strategies, and brokering agreements. She has a special talent for orchestrating ground-breaking partnerships, including two with Orange County’s largest real estate developers that led to greatly enhanced community services.
Annette is an advocate for effective work-life balance, personal growth, and development. She is a featured speaker for national audiences and is the author of numerous articles on strategy, leadership, marketing, quality, planning, and management. She has received many leadership and innovation honors for her work from major institutions, organizations, and publications.
She is the mother of six and grandmother of 15, attributing her approachable leadership style to her strong family life. Annette holds a master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.