Speakers include (in alphabetical order):
Henry Aaron is currently the Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He initially joined the Brookings staff in 1968, and served as director of the Economic Studies program from 1990 through 1996. In addition to working at Brookings, Aaron has also taught at the University of Maryland, served as the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and chaired the 1979 Advisory Council on Social Security. Aaron is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the advisory committee of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and the visiting committee of the Harvard Medical School. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors of Abt Associates and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A founding member, former vice president, and former chair of the board of NASI, he is a graduate of UCLA and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Gretchen Alkema serves as Vice President of Policy and Communications for The SCAN Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was the 2008-09 John Heinz/Health and Aging Policy Fellow and an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, serving in the office of Senator Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR). Alkema collaborated with legislative staff to advise Senator Lincoln on aging, health, mental health and long-term care policy.She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California’s Davis School of Gerontology and was awarded the John A. Hartford Doctoral Fellow in Geriatric Social Work and AARP Scholars Program Award. Alkema also earned a Master’s in social work with a specialist in aging certificate from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has practiced in government and non-profit settings including community mental health, care management, adult day health care, residential care and post-acute rehabilitation.
Joel Ario, Managing Director of Manatt Health Solutions, has devoted his entire 30-year professional career to shaping and implementing public policy, primarily in the areas of health reform and consumer rights. Prior to joining Manatt, he directed the Office of Insurance Exchanges at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). He also has 15 years’ experience as a state insurance regulator, including serving most as Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner from 2007 to 2010, with responsibility for overseeing the state’s $85 billion insurance industry. Ario also served as Oregon Insurance Administrator from 2000 to 2007, was elected three times by his fellow commissioners to serve as an officer in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and served on the NAIC executive committee from 2001 to 2010. Ario is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Harvard Divinity School, and St. Olaf College.
Dave Baldridge, Director of the International Association for Indigenous Aging, served as executive director of the National Indian Council on Aging (NICOA) from 1991-2003. Under his leadership, NICOA became the nation’s foremost non-profit advocate for older Indians and Alaska Natives. The organization tripled in size while significantly influencing legislation and federal policies affecting American Indian and Alaska Native elders. His accomplishments include the establishment of Title VII, Part B of the Older Americans Act – the first legislation to establish protective services for the nation’s American Indian and Alaska Native elders. Baldridge has been actively involved in public policy and research efforts on federal, state, and local levels. His publications on a wide variety of Indian aging issues have been widely-distributed and cited. He has interpreted Indian aging issues for Congressional subcommittees, federal task forces, state aging organizations, long-term care providers, Indian organizations, and tribal- and inter-tribal councils.
Robert Berenson, M.D., is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute. He is an expert in health care policy, particularly Medicare, with experience practicing medicine, serving in senior positions in two Administrations, and helping organize and manage a successful preferred provider organization. From 1998-2000, he was in charge of Medicare payment policy and private health plan contracting in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Previously, he served on the Carter White House Domestic Policy Staff and was a member of the Obama transition team. Effective July 2009, Berenson became a Commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and in July 2010, he became vice chair of MedPAC. Dr. Berenson is a board-certified internist who practiced for twenty years, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a co-author of two books. He is a graduate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and on the faculty at the George Washington University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke. A founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Berenson currently serves on the Academy’s Board of Directors.
Donald M. Berwick, M.D., M.P.P., is the Former Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As Administrator, Dr. Berwick oversees the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Together, these programs provide care to nearly one in three Americans. Before assuming leadership of CMS, Dr. Berwick was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also is a pediatrician, adjunct staff in the Department of Medicine at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and a consultant in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Berwick has served as Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and as an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his work, including the 2007 Heinz Award for Public Policy from the Heinz Family Foundation. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Berwick holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude.
Thomas N. Bethell is a Visiting Scholar at NASI, consulting primarily with the Income Security team. An independent writer-editor, he worked closely for many years with the late Bob Ball, NASI’s co-founder. He edited The Greenspan Commission: What Really Happened (2010), Mr. Ball’s account of serving on the National Commission on Social Security Reform; edited Insuring the Essentials (2000), Mr. Ball’s collection of articles and speeches spanning seven decades of service to social insurance; co-authored Straight Talk about Social Security (1998); and co-authored Because We’re All in This Together: The Case for a National Long Term Care Insurance Policy (1989). He has contributed to many publications, including The Washington Monthly and The American Scholar. Bethell is a founding board member of the Institute for Rural Journalism, based at the University of Kentucky; a contributing editor for The Mountain Eagle (Whitesburg, KY); and a former research director of the United Mine Workers of America. At NASI he is involved in the planning and production of issue briefs, fact sheets, reports, and other informational materials
Bill Bishop is co-editor of the Daily Yonder. Bishop is the author of The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of America is Tearing Us Apart (2008), which examines political segregation and social segmentation. He was a writer on the special projects team at the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman and associate editor and columnist for the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. Bishop has worked as a reporter at The Mountain Eagle, a weekly newspaper in the coalfields of Eastern Kentucky, and he and his wife, Julie Ardery, owned and operated The Bastrop County Times, a weekly newspaper in Smithville, Texas. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 1989, and won the Gerald Loeb Award for commentary on business and economics in 1996 and was a finalist in 1998.
Ken Buffin is President of Buffin Partners, Inc., a firm that is engaged primarily in actuarial and economic research. He is also Chairman of the Buffin Foundation, which is dedicated to advocacy of social and economic policy issues. Buffin is an actuary, statistician and economist with career experience extending over more than 30 years. He is the author of several papers and articles on Social Security issues including financing, solvency and sustainability. He is the Chairman of the International Association of Consulting Actuaries and was formerly Chairman of the American Academy of Actuaries Social Insurance Committee. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2008, Buffin is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and received his Ph.D. in Finance from the California University for Advanced Studies.
Paul Davies is the Director of the Division of Policy Evaluation in the Social Security Administration's Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics. He previously served as the Director of the Division of SSI Statistics and Analysis. Davies' research focuses primarily on the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) programs, and specifically examines SSI eligibility and participation, the effects of SSI policy options on poverty, the provision of SSI benefits to children with disabilities, and interrelationships between SSI and DI. He was co-Project Officer for the National Survey of SSI Children and Families and was a member of the Financial Eligibility Modeling team. Davies has published papers in Research in Labor Economics, the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the Journal of Aging and Social Policy, and the Social Security Bulletin. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2006, Davies holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Sheila Burke, RN, MPA, FAAN, is an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. She also serves as a Senior Public Policy Advisor at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. Burke is a recognized leader in Medicare, Medicaid, and long-term care policy, and she is committed to ensuring the health care agenda remains a topic of discussion and debate on the national level. Prior to returning to Harvard in 2007, Burke served as Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the Smithsonian and as the Executive Dean at the Kennedy School of Government. Prior to her involvements in academia, Burke worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Senate Committee on Finance, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief of Staff to Senator Bob Dole (R KS) in the Office of the Minority and then Majority Leader. She played much of the health care legislation of the 1980s and 1990s, making her a recognized leader in the fields of Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care. Burke is a founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and was recognized as the distinguished honoree for health policy at NASI's 25th anniversary celebration in June 2011.
Steven Edelstein is PHI’s National Policy Director, where he directs the national policy agenda to improve the quality of long-term care by creating quality direct-care jobs and guides PHI’s state efforts in New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Northern New England. Through the Direct Service Workforce Resource Center, he oversees PHI’s technical assistance activities supporting state-based efforts to improve recruitment and retention of direct-care workers. Previously, he managed PHI projects funded by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor, as well as PHI’s role in the Better Jobs/Better Care National Demonstration program. At PHI, Edelstein has also been involved in analyzing state wage pass-through initiatives, developing a model to illustrate the economic and social implications of potential wage increases for home and community-based service workers, and examining the policy implications of current training requirements for direct-care workers.Edelstein is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in public policy studies; additionally, he earned his law degree from the University of Southern California.
Kathryn Edwards worked as a Research Assistant at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) for three years, where she specialized in tracking the labor market. She was key to the development of the websites Economy Track and The State of Working America, both of which provide numerous charts and data about the U.S. labor market. While at EPI she wrote several articles about the youth labor market, internship policies, and Social Security. Recently, she co-authored A Young Person’s Guide to Social Security, a comprehensive curriculum to teach young people about the social insurance program. She is currently studying for her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Lisa Ekman is the Senior Policy Advisor to Health & Disability Advocates, where she works on health care, long-term services and supports, and Social Security. She has more than a decade of experience advocating at the federal level to improve the services and supports available to people with disabilities. Ekman has focused her work on Social Security, employment policy for people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and health care for people with disabilities, and also vigorously advocates in any policy area in which she sees a need. She is also President of Ekman Advocates for Progress, LLC, a disability policy consulting firm. Ekman Advocates for Progress serves as a consultant on disability to the National Academy of Social Insurance, Project Manager for the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Social Security Task Force Public Outreach and Education Campaign, and to CESSI, Inc., as a specialist on the Ticket to Work Program for the program’s Operations Support Manager. Ekman earned a J.D.,cum laude, from Georgetown University, a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver, and completed her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University.
Elaine Fultz is the former director of the International Labor Organization office for Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. As a social security specialist with the ILO, she provided technical assistance to reform national retirement systems in Central Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and Southern Africa. Prior to that, she was Staff Director of the National Commission on Childhood Disability and before that, she was a professional staff member on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. She also instructed and studied at the Wagner School of Public Service, New York University. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1993, Fultz received her Ph.D. in public administration from New York University.
Laura Fortman, Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center, is recognized as a leader on women's rights, labor and employment issues. As Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor from 2003-2010, she oversaw the agency responsible for providing unemployment benefits, labor market information, employment services, labor law enforcement, and services to people with disabilities. During that time she served in leadership roles with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies and the National Governor's Association and testified before the U.S. Senate. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Fortman was the executive director of the Maine Women's Policy Center/Maine Women's Lobby, leading advocacy efforts to improve opportunities for women and girls through state legislation. Fortman has received numerous awards for public service and earned a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, a Master's degree from Northeastern University and has completed the Harvard / Kennedy School of Government Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. She currently serves on the board of the National Employment Law Project.
Terry Gardiner is Vice President of Policy and Strategy at Small Business Majority, where he directs policy development and works on long-term strategic planning, where he brings to bear his decades of business ownership and job creation experience. He is particularly focused on policies related to healthcare, clean energy, access to capital, and small business economic development. Originally a commercial fisherman, Gardiner founded and spent 22 years as the CEO of Silver Lining Seafoods, later NorQuest Seafoods. He grew the company to over $100 million in sales, with 1,000 employees and markets in 22 countries. Gardiner is also a former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, in which he served for 10 years and authored a host of successful groundbreaking legislation. He is a member of the National Co-Op Advisory Board and has testified at congressional committee hearings.
Stephen C. Goss is Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration (SSA). He has been with SSA since 1973. Goss has been a staff participant representing the Office of the Actuary at the President's Commission on Pension Policy, the 1979, 1991, and 1995 Advisory Councils, the National Commission on Social Security, and the National Commission on Social Security Reform. He has presented papers at the Society of Actuaries, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, National Conference on Private Long-Term Care Insurance, the American Academy of Actuaries, the Pension Research Council, the Gerontological Society of America and the Atlantic Economic Society. He is a member of the Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries. He also served on the NASI study panel on “Evaluating Issues in Privatizing Social Security” and on its “Uncharted Waters” Study Panel. He received the 2004 Robert M. Ball Award for outstanding achievements in social insurance. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1990, Goss received his M.S. in mathematics from the University of Virginia.
Janice Gregory is President of the National Academy of Social Insurance. She retired in 2006 as Senior Vice President for the ERISA Industry Committee, where she directed legislative affairs from 1984 through 2006. From 1979 through 1983, she coordinated activities of the Subcommittee on Social Security for its Chairman, the Honorable J.J. Pickle of Texas. She was awarded the Social Security Administration Commissioner’s Citation in 1984. Gregory served as a co-chair for the Academy’s 12th Annual conference, “Ensuring Health and Income Security for an Aging Workforce,” in January 2000, completed two terms as NASI’s Vice President in May 2005, and began her term as President in 2009. She is a contributing author to Prospects for Social Security Reform and Checks and Balances in Social Security, and is principal author of The Vital Connection: An Analysis of the Impact of Social Security Reform on Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans and Getting the Job Done: A White Paper on Emerging Pension Issues. In 2003, she was named one of the one hundred most influential people in finance by Treasury and Risk Management magazine. A founding member of NASI, Gregory holds a Master’s of science in organization development from American University and a B.A. with Special Honors from the University of Texas.
Michael Hiltzik is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who has covered business, technology, and public policy for the Los Angeles Times for thirty years. In that time he has served as a financial and political writer, an investigative reporter, and as a foreign correspondent in Africa and Russia. He currently serves as the Times business columnist. His most recent book is The New Deal: A Modern History (2011); his other books include The Plot Against Social Security (2005), Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (1999), and A Death in Kenya (1995). Hiltzik received the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for articles exposing corruption in the entertainment industry. Among his other awards for excellence in reporting are the 2004 Gerald Loeb Award for outstanding business commentary and the Silver Gavel from the American Bar Association for outstanding legal reporting. A graduate of Colgate University, Hiltzik received a master of science degree in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in 1974. He lives in Southern California.
Robert C. Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. His principal research and teaching interests lie in the fields of organizational and financial law and economics, particularly as these bear upon and are borne upon by economic "globalization" and distributive justice concerns. Hockett recently co-authored a widely cited New America Foundation report entitled “The Way Forward: Moving From the Post-Bubble, Post-Bust Economy to Renewed Growth and Competitiveness.” Prior to entering full-time academe he worked for the International Monetary Fund and clerked for the Hon. Deanell Reece Tacha, then Circuit Judge, now Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. While a graduate student and as a judicial clerk he taught respectively at Yale, Harvard, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Kansas.
Kim Holland is Executive Director responsible for State Affairs at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), where she oversees the Association’s state efforts and plays a critical role providing support for the nation’s 39 BCBS companies as they work on federal healthcare reform implementation. She has an extensive insurance background and healthcare expertise. Holland was appointed as the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner in 2005 to fill an unexpired term. She was then elected to the office in 2006, making her the first woman elected insurance commissioner in the state. She also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. As a long-time advocate for affordable health insurance, Holland is highly respected for her efforts to reduce costs and expand access to coverage. She is a former board member of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma State Employees Benefits Council.
Jake Jones is the Vice President of External Affairs and Policy for Daimler North America. Previously, he was Senior Manager of Legislative Affairs at the DaimlerChrysler Corporation. Prior to this, he was Legislative Representative for the AFL-CIO and Legislative Assistant to former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. He has also worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2003, Jones received his M.S. in public policy and management from Carnegie-Mellon University.
Arne L. Kalleberg is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also an adjunct professor of public policy, an adjunct professor of management at UNC's Kenan-Flagler School of Business and an adjunct professor of international studies. Kalleberg's research is in the sociology of work (including occupational, organizational and industrial sociology); economy and society; social stratification; and quantitative methods. He has written, co-written and edited a number of books with labor, class, industrial and organizational themes, including Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s to 2000s (2011), The Mismatched Worker (2007), and Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream (with co-authors, 2007). Kalleberg received his master's and doctoral degrees in sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Sarah Kliff covers health policy for The Washington Post. Prior to joining the Post in August 2011, Kliff was a health care reporter for Politico, where she authored Politico Pulse, a daily health policy tip sheet. As a writer for Politico, she has covered how federal regulation, Congress and lobbying affect the implementation of health care reform. Kliff previously was a staff writer at Newsweek, where she covered issues at the intersection of health and politics. She also covered the 2008 election, traveling with Joe Biden and contributing reports to multiple Newsweek cover stories. She has also written for National Geographic, St. Louis Magazine and Humanities magazine. Kliff attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, Student Life. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Kaiser Family Foundation and University of Southern California Annenberg School of Journalism.
Mark Levinson is Chief Economist for The Service Employees International Union (SEIU). He previously worked as Chief Economist for UNITE HERE and as an economist at the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). His writings on economic policy, the global economy and labor rights have been published in The New York Times, The Nation, The American Prospect, Dissent (where he is also book review editor), New Labor Forum and Boston Review. In 2002-2003 Levinson was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University, and in 2005-06 he was the co-director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Agenda for Shared Prosperity. Levinson received his Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research.
Jeffrey B. Liebman is Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches courses in public sector economics and American economic policy. In his research, he studies tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, and income inequality. Recent research has examined the impacts of government programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security, and housing vouchers. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, Liebman worked at the Office of Management and Budget, first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist and then as Acting Deputy Director. From 1998 to 1999, Liebman served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Clinton Administration’s Social Security reform technical working group. Liebman received his BA from Yale University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.
Wilhelmina A. Leigh, Senior Research Associate, Economic Security, at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, has done work throughout her career in the areas of health policy, housing policy, income security/asset building, and labor market issues. While at the Joint Center, she has researched topics as varied as access to health care, child health disparities, state asset building programs, the Social Security system, and soft skills programs. Previously a principal analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, Leigh also has worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Urban Institute, and the National Urban League Research Department. Leigh taught at Harvard University, Howard University, the University of Virginia, and Georgetown University, and has been an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1996. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University and her A.B., also in economics, from Cornell University.
Pamela Loprest is a labor economist at the Urban Institute, where she conducts research on policies to enhance the economic well-being of disadvantaged persons, including removing barriers to work and provision of means-tested benefits. She currently leads the Institute’s Unemployment and Recovery Project, studying the impacts of long-term unemployment and policies to address these issues. She also leads the evaluation of the Institute’s Work Supports Strategies project, examining the impact of states’ efforts to increase and ease access for low-income families to public work support benefits. Her other work analyzes private and public policies to support low-income workers, including current and former welfare recipients and adults with disabilities. Loprest is co-author of three books, including Leaving Welfare: Employment and Well-Being of Families that Left Welfare in the Post-Entitlement Era. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Meizhu Lui describes herself as a “professional troublemaker!” She got started as a hospital kitchen worker, where she organized to ensure that “women’s work” not be undervalued and underpaid, and to end racial occupational segregation. She became the first Asian to be elected President of a union local in Massachusetts. In all her work, most recently as Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, she has been known as an outspoken activist for race and gender equity. She has received numerous awards from community groups and funders for her ability to engage ordinary people in social change. She served on the Center for American Progress’ National Initiative to End Poverty in 2007, and is a long-time member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. A co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the US Racial Wealth Divide, her analyses have been included in books, op-eds, and on TV and radio. Recent briefs she has written include “Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and Social Security: A Primer,”and with Maya Rockeymoore, “Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color.”
Lisa Mensah is Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute and Chair of the NASI Board of Directors. She began her career in commercial banking at Citibank prior to working 13 years with the Ford Foundation. Serving as Deputy Director of Economic Development for the organization, Mensah led the Foundation’s work in microfinance and women’s economic development. She became the leading national funder of individual development accounts (IDAs) – an innovative savings account structured with matching incentives and personal financial training used to finance homeownership, entrepreneurship and education. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2005, Mensah also served on its “Uncharted Waters” study panel. She holds an M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Harvard University.
Lawrence Mishel, a nationally-recognized economist, is President of the Economic Policy Institute, a role he assumed in 2002. In the more than two decades he has been with EPI, Mishel has helped build it into the nation’s premier research organization focused on U.S. living standards and labor markets. He has co-authored 11 editions of The State of Working America. Mishel’s primary research interests include labor markets and education. He has written extensively on wage and job quality trends, labor market institutions, charter schools, teacher pay and high school graduation rates. He has also testified before Congress on the importance of promoting policies that reduce inequality, improve the lives of American workers and their families, and strengthen the middle class. He also serves frequently as a commentator in the print, broadcast, and online media. Prior to joining EPI, Mishel held a number of research roles, including a fellowship at the U.S. Department of Labor, and also served as a faculty member at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Mishel holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Anne Montgomery is a Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, chaired by Sen. Herbert H. Kohl (D-WI). She is responsible for policy development relating to long-term care, elder abuse and related issues for the Committee’s Democratic staff. Earlier, Montgomery was a senior health policy associate with the Alliance for Health Reform in Washington, D.C., where she played a key role in writing and editing policy publications and designing public briefings and conferences for congressional staff and other stakeholders. Montgomery served as a senior analyst in public health at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and as a legislative aide to Congressman Pete Stark of the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Montgomery has an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and a B.A. in English literature from the University of Virginia, and has done gerontology coursework at Johns Hopkins University.
LaDonna Pavetti is the Vice President for Family Income Support Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In this capacity, she oversees the Center’s work analyzing poverty trends and assessing the nation’s income support programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Before joining the Center in 2009, Pavetti spent 12 years as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., where she directed numerous research projects examining various aspects of TANF implementation and strategies to address the needs of the hard-to-employ. She has also served as a researcher at the Urban Institute, a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on welfare reform issues, and a policy analyst for the District of Columbia’s Commission on Social Services. In addition, for several years she was a social worker in Chicago and Washington, DC. Pavetti has an A.M. in social work from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Alice Rivlin is a Visiting Professor at the Public Policy Institute of Georgetown University and a Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution, where she directs Greater Washington Research. Rivlin also served as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board from 1996 to 1999 and was director of the Office of Management and Budget in the first Clinton administration. In addition, she was the founding director at the Congressional Budget Office, served as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and was named by President Obama to the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. She also co-chaired, along with former Senator Pete Domenici, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Task Force on Debt Reduction. A founding member of NASI, Rivlin received her B.A. in economics from Bryn Mawr College and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
James Roosevelt, Jr. , currently serves as the President and CEO of Tufts Health Plan, and Co-Chairman of Tufts Health Care Institute in Watertown, PA. He is also a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine. As the grandson of President Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, he speaks with a personal perspective and passion about the importance of Social Security, as well as the broader concept of social insurance. With the goal of keeping Social Security sound throughout the 21st century, he has become an innovator of modernizing the program’s progress. In 2008, he was appointed to then-President-elect Barack Obama’s Social Security Administration transition team. Before his time at Tufts Health Plan, Roosevelt served under former President Bill Clinton as the Associate Commissioner for the Office of Retirement Policy within the Social Security Administration. He is a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Rhode Island Quality Institute, and the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center for Compassionate Care. He also volunteers as the chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and co-chair of the Rules and By-laws Committee of the Democratic National Party. Roosevelt received a J.D. from Harvard Law School and his A.B. in government from Harvard College. He also completed the Advance Management Program at Harvard Business School. He became a member of NASI in 2010.
John Rother is the President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care. Prior to joining the Coalition in 2011, he served as the long-time Executive Vice President for Policy, Strategy, and International Affairs at AARP, where he led the development of AARP’s policy positions and advocacy strategies. Rother also served for eight years as Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Special Counsel to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He serves on several boards, including the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, the National Quality Forum, the Alliance for Healthcare Reform, the Pension Rights Center, and Generations United. He has consistently been named as one of the most powerful people in healthcare. A founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, Rother received the Academy’s 2010 Robert M. Ball Award. He holds a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Margaret C. Simms is an institute fellow at the Urban Institute and director of the Institute's Low-Income Working Families project a research initiative exploring challenges faced by 9 million families and their 19 million children. A nationally recognized expert on the economic well-being of African Americans, Simms spent 21 years with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in a number of leadership positions. Simms was a senior research associate at the Urban Institute from 1979 to 1986 and directed the Institute's Minorities and Social Policy Program from 1981 to 1986. She has served on the faculty of Atlanta University, Clark College (Atlanta), and the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 1977 and 1978, she was a Brookings economic policy fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Simms has edited many books and monographs, including Job Creation Prospects and Strategies (with Wilhelmina Leigh). She was editor of the Review of Black Political Economy from 1983 to 1988 and board chair of the Institute for Women's Policy Research from 1993 to 1998. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1994, she served as its President from 2007 to 2009. Simms earned her master's degree and doctorate in economics at Stanford University.
Brian D. Smedley is Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, DC. Formerly, Smedley was Research Director and co-founder of a communications, research and policy organization, The Opportunity Agenda (www.opportunityagenda.org), whose mission is to build the national will to expand opportunity for all. Prior to helping launch The Opportunity Agenda, Smedley was a Senior Program Officer in the Division of Health Sciences Policy of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where he served as Study Director for the IOM report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, among other reports on diversity in the health professions and minority health research policy. Among his awards and distinctions, Smedley been honored by the Rainbow/PUSH coalition, the Congressional Black Caucus, the American Public Health Association, and the American Psychological Association.
David Stapleton is a Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, where he directs Mathematica’s Center for Studying Disability Policy. He is also the area leader for the firm’s studies of Social Security Administration programs, including Ticket to Work and the Benefit Offset National Demonstration. He also has leadership positions for three NIDRR Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, RSA’s Substantial Gainful Activity demonstration project; and DOL’s Disability Employment Initiative evaluation. Stapleton has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
David G. Stevenson is an Associate Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. His research addresses long-term care financing options for the future, the influence of corporate structure on nursing home care, the rising use of hospice care among nursing home residents, the impact of Medicare Part D in the nursing home pharmacy sector, and the provision of supportive services in assisted living facilities and other types of congregate housing. Prior to joining the Department of Health Care Policy, Stevenson worked in a variety of policy and research settings, including the U.S. Public Health Service, the University of Washington School of Public Health, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and the Urban Institute. Stevenson received a B.A. from Oberlin College, an S.M. in health policy management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in health policy from Harvard University.
Sarah Thomas is Vice President for Public Policy and Communications at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where she is responsible for the development of NCQA’s public policy strategy, its work with the Federal government and the States, as well as its media and communications operations. She was formerly the Director of the Public Policy Institute (PPI) Health Team at AARP, overseeing advocacy related to health care reform, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drugs, private insurance and public health. Thomas has 13 years of experience in the federal government. She was deputy director at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and also served at the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She has worked for national associations, in state government and for the Advisory Board Company. Thomas holds a M.S. in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Stephen A. Wandner is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Urban Institute. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Prior to joining the Urban Institute, Wandner was a Senior Economist for the U.S Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. He previously served as Director of Research and Demonstrations for the Employment and Training Administration. He served as the Acting Director of the Office of Legislation and Actuarial Services for the Unemployment Insurance Service, where he also directed research. He is co-editor of Unemployment Insurance in the United States: Analysis of Policy Issues, Targeting Employment Services, and Job Training Policy in the United States. He received the Richard A. Lester Prize for the Outstanding Book in Labor Economics and Industrial Relations for his book, Solving the Reemployment Puzzle: From Research to Policy (2010). He received the 2011 Outstanding Practitioner Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association for contributions to research and practice in the field of employment relations. His publications include “Unemployment Compensation for Older Workers,” prepared for the NASI 2000 annual meeting, and other articles relating primarily to unemployment insurance and reemployment services. He currently serves as co-editor of The Journal on Unemployment Insurance of the Social Insurance Research Network. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1998, Wandner received his Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University.
Alan Weil has been the executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) since September 2004. Mr. Weil previously served as director of the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism project, one of the largest privately funded social policy research projects ever undertaken in the United States. He previously held a cabinet position as executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, was health policy advisor to Colorado Governor Roy Romer, and was assistant general counsel in the Massachusetts Department of Medical Security. Mr. Weil is the co-editor of two books, publishes regularly in peer-reviewed journals, and has testified before Congress more than half-a-dozen times. He is on the editorial board of the journal Health Affairs, and is a member of the Institute of Medicine's Board on Health Care Services, the Commonwealth Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System, and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Harvard Law School.
Drew Westen, Ph.D. is a clinical, personality, and political psychologist, and Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University. He has formerly taught at the University of Michigan, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University. Westen is the author of three books and over 150 scholarly articles. He is a frequent commentator on radio, television, and in print, including appearances on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, American Morning, Hardball, Anderson Cooper 360, the CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, PBS, NPR, and BBC and CBC radio and television. He has advised a range of candidates and organizations, from presidential and congressional campaigns to major progressive organizations, to Fortune 500 companies. Westen is the author of the best-selling book, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.
Julie Whittaker is a Specialist in Economics at the Domestic Social Policy Division of the Congressional Research Service (CRS), where she is the lead analyst on unemployment issues. She is the author of many reports on unemployment compensation and other programs for the unemployed. Prior to her arrival at CRS, Whittaker was an assistant professor of Public Policy at Rutgers University and an economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2008, Whittaker holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Valerie Rawlston Wilson is an Economist and Vice President of Research at the National Urban League Policy Institute in Washington, DC, where she is responsible for planning and directing the Policy Institute’s Research Agenda. She is also a member of the National Urban League President’s Council of Economic Advisors, which assists the League in shaping its national economic policy. Wilson has served as Managing Editor, Associate Editor and as a contributing author for the National Urban League’s annual signature publication, The State of Black America, and oversees annual production of the organization’s Equality IndexTM. As a result of her work at the National Urban League, in 2010, through the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, she was selected to deliver the keynote address at an event on Minority Economic Empowerment at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway. Wilson earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her fields of specialization include labor economics, racial and economic inequality, and economics of higher education.
Gretchen K. Young is the Senior Vice President, Health Policy, for the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC). She works in Washington, D.C., where her primary responsibilities include working as a registered Congressional lobbyist on federal health issues and monitoring the work of Congress and the executive agencies with respect to health benefits. Her primary focus over the past three years has been the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the accompanying regulations. She also has devoted considerable time and attention to employer wellness programs and the threats to them posed by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prior to her work at ERIC, Young covered both retirement and health issues for several large consulting firms. She has worked for over 25 years in the employee benefits field, including stints at three federal agencies that regulate ERISA plans - IRS, PBGC, and DOL. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2005, Young received her B.A. in government from Pomona College.