Speaker Biographies: Medicaid Moving Forward

Speaker Biographies

Medicaid Moving Forward
Hart Senate Office Building (Room 902)
Monday, April 3, 2017

Sara R. Collins is the vice president for Health Care Coverage and Access program at The Commonwealth Fund. An economist, Dr. Collins joined the Fund in 2002 and has led the Fund’s national program on health insurance since 2005. Since joining the Fund, Dr. Collins has led several national surveys on health insurance and has authored numerous reports, issue briefs and journal articles on health insurance coverage and policy. She has provided invited testimony before several congressional committees and subcommittees. Prior to joining the Fund, Dr. Collins was associate director/senior research associate at the New York Academy of Medicine, Division of Health and Science Policy. Earlier in her career, she was an associate editor at U.S. News & World Report, a senior economist at Health Economics Research, and a senior health policy analyst in the New York City Office of the Public Advocate. She holds an A.B. in economics from Washington University and a Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University.

Gail Wilensky is an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE. She directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs from 1990 to 1992 and served in the White House as a senior health and welfare adviser to President George H.W. Bush. Dr. Wilensky currently serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center, is on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and the Geisinger Health System Foundation. She also served as president of the Defense Health Board, a federal advisory to the Secretary of Defense, was a commissioner on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, and co-chaired the Dept. of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and has served two terms on its governing council. She is a former chair of the board of directors of Academy Health, a former trustee of the American Heart Association, and a current or former director of numerous other non-profit organizations. From 1997 to 2001, she chaired the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and previously chaired one of its predecessors, the Physician Payment Review Commission. From 2001 to 2003, she co-chaired the President’s Task Force to Improve Health Care Delivery for Our Nation’s Veterans and, in 2007, served as a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors. Dr. Wilensky received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan and has received several honorary degrees.

Sara Rosenbaum is the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor and founding chair of the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. Professor Rosenbaum has devoted her career to issues of health law and policy affecting low-income, minority and medically underserved populations as well as the health care safety net. Between 1993 and 1994, she worked for President Clinton, directing the legislative drafting of the Health Security Act and developing the Vaccines for Children program. She also served on the Presidential Transition Team for President-Elect Obama. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Boston University School of Law, Professor Rosenbaum has written more than 250 articles and studies focusing on all phases of health law and health care for medically underserved populations. She is co-author of Law and the American Health Care System (Foundation Press, N.Y.) and has won many national awards for her scholarship and service.


Sarah Dash is president & co-CEO of the Alliance for Health Reform. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was a member of the research faculty at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute in the Center on Health Insurance Reforms. She has also served as a senior health policy aide to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.). She received her master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a bachelor of science from MIT.