Maria Toler Velissaris Awarded 2022 Eisenhower Fellowship

Maria Toler Velissaris, Founding Partner of SteelSky Ventures, was selected for the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship where she will travel to Rwanda and Spain to progress the state of maternal healthcare

Maria Toler Velissaris, Founding Partner of SteelSky Ventures, has been selected for the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship through its 2022 USA Justice Fellows, an inaugural program that sends mid-career U.S. professionals abroad to expand their horizons and sharpen their strategies for combatting entrenched racial discrimination in their communities and professions.

Velissaris will travel to Rwanda and Spain this fall to meet with top healthcare and government leaders. In Rwanda, she will focus on technologies that advance the state of maternal health care and, in Spain, she will study the country's single-payer health insurance system.

"This fellowship presents a unique opportunity to explore new and innovative care delivery models in a global context," Velissaris said. "Health equity is foundational to our work at SteelSky Ventures, and I'm eager to return with fresh insights into expanding access and improving outcomes in women's health nationally and globally."

"These dynamic leaders join a global network of Fellows who for nearly seven decades have been striving to create a world more peaceful, prosperous and just," said Robert M. Gates, EF Chairman and former U.S. Secretary of Defense. "Their work advances the core justice pillar of our founding mission."

Enforcing racial equality through the rule of law, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent troops from the U.S. Army's 101 Airborne Division to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957 to protect the Constitutional right of Black students to attend a segregated all-white high school. More than six decades later, amid a national reckoning of relations between the races, Eisenhower Fellowships is advancing the legacy of its namesake with its inaugural 2022 USA Justice Program.

"The Justice Program employs our historic foundation of direct dialogue to enhance understanding and shape solutions to the vexing inequalities that disproportionately affect African-Americans and other communities of color," said George de Lama, EF President.

Maria Toler Velissaris founded SteelSky Ventures in 2020 to improve access, care and outcomes in women's healthcare by finding investment opportunities in innovative medical devices, digital tools and delivery models. Today, her firm has $73 million in assets under management.

For the biographies of each of the USA Justice Program Fellows, please click here.

About SteelSky Ventures

SteelSky Ventures is a black female-led venture capital fund investing in companies that improve access, care, and outcomes in women's healthcare. With $73 million in assets under management, SteelSky Ventures is the largest venture capital fund focused on women's healthcare. For more information about SteelSky Ventures, visit

About Eisenhower Fellows

Now in its 69th year and named for America's 34th president, EF brings together innovative leaders from across geographies and sectors to tackle big challenges and improve the world. Since 1953, more than 2,400 mid-career leaders from 115 countries have benefited from the unique experience of an Eisenhower Fellowship.

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Source: SteelSky Ventures