Elizabeth Holmes’ is a story that could happen only in America. After her sophomore year she left Stanford to devote herself to a vision of health care available as a basic human right. When I was introduced to Elizabeth by George Shultz, her plan sounded like an undergraduate’s dream. I told her she had only two prospects: total failure or vast success. There would be no middle ground.
Elizabeth accepted only one option: making a difference. Striking, somewhat ethereal, iron-willed, she is on the verge of achieving her vision—through a new method of blood testing that significantly reduces costs, tests for a whole range of infections and is mobile and can therefore be easily transported to underdeveloped regions.
Striving for prevention and early detection, she is dedicated to transforming health care around the world. She manages an expanding global business by the refusal to be daunted by any obstacle.
Elizabeth is in the process of turning an undergraduate’s vision into a global reality. That she combines fierce and single-minded dedication with great charm makes her a formidable advocate. Others will judge the technical aspects of Theranos, but the social implications are vast.
Kissinger is a former U.S. Secretary of State and a Theranos board member