Rosalyn King’s 50-Year Career in Pharmacy & Healthcare Took Her Around the World

Rosalyn C. King has carried the lessons she learned during her time at Seton Hill and with the Sisters of Charity throughout her 50-year career as a pharmacist and an author, professor, consultant and advisor in global health. Rosalyn earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at Duquesne University in 1962, a master’s in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Southern California. 

In 1967, Rosalyn became the first African-American professional pharmacist to work for the American Pharmacists Association in Washington, D.C. Rosalyn cherishes a souvenir plate imprinted with Seton Hill’s motto – Hazard Yet Forward – purchased by her late mother, noting: “It encouraged me, as an African-American female, to persevere in the face of discrimination, disappointment and discouragement to continue on my God-given path.” That path has taken her to locations across Africa, the Near East, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. She led the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in developing a guidance document on providing pharmaceuticals as a part of its health care assistance packages and managed a team of pharmacists in crafting a key service and care component of the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief project. 

During nearly two decades at Howard University as a program manager in its Office of International Programs, she collaborated with more than 2,500 pharmacists and managers from many countries to enhance their knowledge and skills. In another era of her career, she served as director of the International Health Institute at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. A resident of Silver Spring, Md., she currently serves as a trustee of the National Pharmaceutical Association Foundation. 

Seton Hill University’s Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award, established in 1987, is one of the highest honors given to a graduate. Setonians have been named distinguished alumni for their leadership in education, business, science and technology, the arts, volunteerism and philanthropy.