Gail Wilensky is an economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. She directed the Medicare and Medicaid programs and served in the White House as a senior adviser on health and welfare issues to President GHW Bush. She also served as the first chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Her expertise is on strategies to reform health care, with particular emphasis on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research and military health care. 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), the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Medical School and the Board of Directors of the Geisinger Health System Foundation. She recently served as president of the Defense Health Board, a Federal advisory board 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. Previously she served as chair of the Physician Payment Review Commission, a predecessor to MedPAC.
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. She is also a director for UnitedHealth Group and Quest Diagnostics. Dr. Wilensky testifies before Congressional committees, serves as an adviser to members of Congress and other elected officials, and speaks nationally and internationally. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan and has received several honorary degrees.