Gail Wilensky is an economist and a senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health education foundation. She serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center, as a member of the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the visiting committee of the Harvard Medical School. She recently served as president of the Defense Health Board, a federal advisory board to the Secretary of Defense and chaired their health care subcommittee. She was also a commissioner on the World Health Organization’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health and co-chaired the Department of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care.
From 1990 to 1992, she was Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now called the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). She also served as Deputy Assistant to President (G.H.W.) Bush for Policy Development. From 1997–2001, she chaired the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and previously chaired a predecessor commission, 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. In 2007, she served as a commissioner on the President’s Commission on care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (also known as Dole/Shalala Commission).
Dr. Wilensky’s work focuses on the policies and politics of health care reform, and on strategies to produce sustainable health care spending as well as establishing a comparative clinical effectiveness strategy. She testifies frequently before congressional committees and speaks before professional, business and consumer groups. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and served two terms on its governing council. She earned her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan.