June 23, 2015

Honoring the 2015 Award Recipient, Karen Davis

The National Academy of Social Insurance is pleased to announce Karen Davis, Director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and former President of the Commonwealth Fund as the 2015 winner of the Robert M. Ball Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Insurance.

Join the Academy in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 23, 2015, for a banquet to honor Karen Davis for her extraordinary dedication to improving the quality and sustainability of Medicare and our nation’s health care delivery system, and for her focus on the uninsured and people with complex health needs. As policy makers grapple with proposals to reform Medicare and other social insurance programs, Davis continues to be steadfast in her efforts to develop policies that improve care for all Americans while lowering costs.

The award ceremony and dinner banquet will be attended by policy, research, advocacy, and business leaders who share a common passion for strengthening social insurance and reflecting on its important role in providing economic security for all Americans and supporting a vibrant economy.

Each year, the Robert M. Ball Award is presented to an individual whose recent work has made a significant impact on the U.S. social insurance system. Recipients of this award have demonstrated:

  • Innovation in changing, educating about or otherwise furthering public understanding and informed policymaking in a specific area of social insurance; and
  • Effectiveness in deepening public understanding, fostering collaboration, informing policy, implementing policy, or teaching others about social insurance.

2015 Ball Award Selection Committee:

  • Marilyn Moon, Committee Chair, Director, Center on Aging at the American Institutes for Research (AIR)
  • G. Lawrence Atkins, President, NASI; Executive Director, Long Term Quality Alliance
  • Cathy Schoen, Executive Director, Council of Economic Advisors, Commonwealth Fund
  • Katherine Swartz, Professor, Health Policy and Economics, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Bruce Vladeck, Senior Advisor, Nexera, Inc.

Previous winners of the Robert M. Ball Award:

  • Marilyn Moon, (2014), Director, Center on Aging at the American Institutes for Research (AIR)
  • Alice M. Rivlin (2013), Senior Fellow and Director, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, The Brookings Institution
  • Robert D. Reischauer (2012), President Emeritus, Urban Institute
  • John C. Rother (2010), Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy, AARP
  • Alicia H. Munnell (2009), Director, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College
  • Peter A. Diamond (2008), Institute Professor and Professor of Economics, MIT
  • Henry Aaron (2007), Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
  • Monroe Berkowitz (2006), Professor of Economics, Rutgers University (1919-2009)
  • Bruce C. Vladeck (2005), Principal (former), Ernst & Young
  • Stephen C. Goss (2004), Chief Actuary, Social Security Administration

​About Robert M. Ball

No individual has done more to advance American social insurance programs than Robert M. Ball. From his early appointment in a field office to his selection as Commissioner of Social Security by President Kennedy in 1962, to advisory roles in each of the following presidential administrations, Bob Ball sought a balance between political pragmatism and his determination to protect the principles of social insurance. He was the single most influential individual in advancing American social insurance programs for over 60 years.

Bob Ball served as Commissioner of Social Security from 1962 to 1973. He also played a crucial role in the origin of Medicare in 1965, and then successfully carried out the ambitious task of implementing the program. Ball founded the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) in 1986 and continued to advise presidential administrations and policymakers and to write on Social Security, Medicare, national health insurance and welfare until his death in January 2008 at the age of 93. Bob Ball’s greatest gift was his ability to persuade policymakers in countless contexts to put aside partisanship for the sake of posterity.