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Joseph R. Betancourt

President, The Commonwealth Fund

Joseph R. Betancourt headshot

Joseph R. Betancourt, M.D., M.P.H., is the president of the Commonwealth Fund. One of the nation’s preeminent leaders in health care policy, equity, quality, and community health, Betancourt formerly served as the senior vice president for Equity and Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and as founding director of the Disparities Solutions Center. He has devoted his career to improving the quality and value of health care for diverse populations.

Betancourt has served on committees that have provided advice to all agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration, among others. He has also provided guidance to private industry, and at the state and local level, including a term on the Boston Board of Health. His roles in governance have included serving on the Board of Trinity Health, Neighborhood Health Plan, and the Massachusetts Health and Hospitals Association.

Betancourt is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a board-certified internist, providing primary care to a large Spanish-speaking and minority patient panel. He earned his M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed an internal medicine residency at New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center. Following his residency, he was a member of one of the first classes in the Commonwealth Fund–Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, where he earned an M.P.H. in health policy and management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

An author of nearly 80 peer-reviewed articles, Betancourt has served on several Institute of Medicine committees, including the committee that produced the seminal report Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.

Betancourt is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow and recipient of the Sumner M. Redstone Endowed Chair in Health Equity at MGH. In 2022, he was named one of Modern Healthcare's “Top 25 Diversity Leaders,” and in 2023 as one of the “Top 50 Clinical Healthcare Executives in the United States.” Also in 2023, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine.