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Susan Dentzer

2015 Conference Co-Chair

Susan Dentzer is Senior Health Policy Adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She was formerly the Editor-in-Chief of Health Affairs, the country’s leading journal of health and policy, and an on-air analyst of health issues with the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. One of the nation’s most respected health care journalists and thought leaders, Dentzer, along with Sachin Jain and Karen Davis, is co-chair of the 2015 Policy Research Conference, Medicaid and Medicare: the Next 50 Years.

“Susan is one of the most distinguished health policy journalists of our time,” says Academy President G. Lawrence Atkins, Staff Director of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care. “We are pleased to have her as a member of the Academy. She has been generous in the contribution of her great knowledge and experience to our health policy work.” 

Dentzer has earned several fellowships for her writing, such as the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University where she studied health economics and policy. Prior to her position at Health Affairs, Dentzer was chief economics correspondent and economics columnist for U.S. News and World Report and a senior writer covering business at Newsweek. Ms. Dentzer appears on CNN and The McLaughlin Group as a regular analyst or commentator and has been a frequent guest and commentator on such National Public Radio shows as This American Life and The Diane Rehm Show.

Dentzer is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, and of the Council on Foreign Relations, the independent, nonpartisan membership organization and think tank dedicated to exploring the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. She is a fellow of the Hastings Center, a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to bioethics and the public interest. 

Dentzer is also a member of the Board of Directors of Research!America, the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance committed to making research to improve health a higher national priority. She is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian organization providing relief to refugees and displaced persons around the world. She chairs the IRC board’s Program Committee, which oversees the organization’s activities in resettling refugees in the United States and in dealing with refugees and displaced persons in roughly 25 countries.  Dentzer served on the board of directors of the Global Health Council and was its chair from 2008-2010. She is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the RAND Health Board of Advisors, the March of Dimes national advisory board and the national advisory committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows.

A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2009, Dentzer graduated from and holds an honorary Master of Arts degree from Dartmouth University. Dentzer is a Dartmouth trustee emerita and chaired the Dartmouth Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2004. She serves on the Board of Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School. She also holds an honorary doctorate in human letters from Muskingum University. Dentzer, her husband and their three children live in the Washington, DC area.