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James Roosevelt, Jr.

2012 Conference Co-Chair

James Roosevelt, Jr., co-chair of NASI’s 2012 conference along with Margaret Simms and Sheila Burke, 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.  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

“Born into a family famous for its major innovations in social insurance, Jim has worked tirelessly to become one of the most respected experts in Medicare and Social Security. His efforts to ensure the preservation of these programs come not just from a sense of family pride, but from a deep desire to protect the most vulnerable amongst us,” said Sheila Burke, Faculty Member of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and fellow conference co-chair for the NASI 20120 conference.

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. 

"My grandfather's legacy of Social Security and unemployment insurance has successfully protected millions of Americans for more than seven decades.  It is our job to protect it by building understanding of why it works and how it can be protected," said Roosevelt

In 2005, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare for his efforts to strengthen and preserve Social Security. Barbara Kennelly, former President and CEO of the National Committee, presented the award, stating, “Jim is carrying the family tradition of passion for what I believe is the most successful government program in the United States. ” Roosevelt has spent much of his life defending Social Security as one of the most important legacies of his grandfather, Franklin D. Roosevelt. This past June he wrote an article in AARP’s Bulletin entitled, Social Security’s Enduring Truths: Despite the naysayers, the system’s finances are sound, in which he said, “Social Security has not only been the most effective government program, it has been the most responsible government program. ”

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.

He enjoys promoting good public policy and following the Red Sox saying, “both can be difficult but are very rewarding. ”