New York, NY, July 26, 2013—Sheila P. Burke, R.N., M.P.A., FAAN, a faculty member and former executive dean at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Simon Stevens, executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, have been elected to the Commonwealth Fund Board of Directors. Both will join the Board in November 2013.
In addition to her faculty role at the Kennedy School, Burke serves as senior public policy advisor at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C. She was deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Smithsonian Institution from 2004 to 2007, and served as executive dean of the Kennedy School from 1996 to 2000. Previously she was chief of staff to former U.S. Senate majority leader Bob Dole (1985–1996), a professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Finance (1979–1982), and deputy staff director of that committee (1982–1985). Burke holds an M.P.A. from Harvard and a B.S. in nursing from the University of San Francisco. She worked as a staff nurse in Berkeley, California.
As president for Global Health and executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group, Stevens leads UnitedHealth’s international businesses and U.S. health reform and care modernization groups. Earlier he was CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare division, serving 9 million seniors across America. He also served as British prime minister Tony Blair’s health adviser at 10 Downing Street, where he led the reform of the U.K. National Health Service.
“We are very fortunate to have Sheila Burke and Simon Stevens join the Commonwealth Fund Board, bringing a wealth and depth of knowledge about the keys to achieving a high-value, high- performing health system,” said Board chairman James R. Tallon, Jr., who is also president of the United Hospital Fund of New York. “Their insights will be especially critical to informing The Commonwealth Fund’s work as the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented and as the foundation seeks to promote delivery system reforms that will bring affordable, high-quality care within the reach of all Americans.”
Burke is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, as well as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Academy of Nursing. She serves on the adjunct faculty at Georgetown University and is a Distinguished Visitor at Georgetown Law Center's O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Burke is also a member of the Kaiser Commission on the Future of Medicaid and the Uninsured and serves on the boards of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Association of American Medical Colleges. From 2000 to 2007, she served as a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and she was on the board of the Kaiser Family Foundation from 1999 to 2008.
Stevens has had a varied career as an executive leading major hospital systems as well as primary care and payer organizations in the United States and internationally. He is a director of Amil, Latin America’s largest health care company, and of the U.S.–Brazil Business Council. He serves on a number of nonprofit boards in New York, Minneapolis, and London. Educated at Oxford, Strathclyde, and Columbia, Stevens has been a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and regularly writes for leading research journals on a range of critical health issues. He was a 1994–1995 Harkness Fellow of The Commonwealth Fund.
“Sheila Burke and Simon Stevens will bring invaluable experience in health policy and delivery system reform to the Commonwealth Fund Board,” said Commonwealth Fund president David Blumenthal, M.D. “We are very pleased to be able to benefit from their expertise at this momentous period of transformation in the U.S. health care system.”