Debra A. Cafaro has served as Ventas’s Chief Executive Officer since 1999 and as Ventas’s Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2003. Under Ms. Cafaro’s leadership, Ventas’s market capitalization rose to $26 billion from $200 million. The Company’s compound annual total shareholder return (TSR) has exceeded 25 percent since January 1, 2000.
In 2016, Forbes named Ms. Cafaro as one of the 100 “World’s Most Powerful Women,” the Harvard Business Review recognized Ms. Cafaro as one of the top 50 “Best-Performing CEOs in the World” (3rd consecutive year), Modern Healthcare listed her as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” (3rd time) and Real Estate Forum identified her as one of “The 70 Elite” real estate executives who shaped the industry for the past 70 years. She was also named by GlobeSt.com as one of nine “Game-Changers” in commercial real estate since 2000, and by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Business.” CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer listed Cafaro as one of the “Bankable 21” CEOs in Get Rich Carefully. Cafaro was voted numerous times, most recently for 2017, to Institutional Investor’s “All America Executive Team” and Modern Healthcare’s “Top 25 Women in Healthcare” and was selected as one of the “Top 50 Women in World Business” by the Financial Times.
Ms. Cafaro serves on the Executive Committee of the Boards of The Real Estate Roundtable and the Economic Club of Chicago. She is an owner and member of the Management Committee of the Pittsburgh Penguins, a National Hockey League team. Ms. Cafaro is also a member of the Boards of University of Chicago, Chicago Infrastructure Trust, Executives’ Club of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and World Business Chicago. In 2010, Ms. Cafaro served as Chair of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), where she was honored with NAREIT’s Industry Leadership Award. She served on the Board of Directors of the Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) from 2007-2016. She is a member of the Business Council.
Prior to joining Ventas, Ms. Cafaro was President and a Director of Ambassador Apartments, Inc., a practicing lawyer for 13 years and a judicial clerk for the Hon. J. Dickson Phillips, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1982-83.
Ms. Cafaro received her J.D. cum laude in 1982 from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was named its Distinguished Alumna in 2011, and her B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1979.