Center for Health Affairs
7500 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 600
Bethesda, MD 20814-6133
Phone: 301/656-7401 ext. 260
Gail R. Wilensky, PhD, is an economist and a senior fellow at Project HOPE, an international health foundation. Her focus has been on strategies to reform health care, with particular emphasis in recent years on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research, and military health care. Dr. Wilensky serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center, and is on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Medical and Dental Schools, and 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 Department of Defense Task Force on the Future of Military Health Care. She was the administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now called CMS) from 1990 to 1992 and the chair of the Medicare Payment Advisor Commission (MedPAC) from 1997 to 2001.
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 nonprofit organizations. She is also a director on several corporate boards. Dr. Wilensky testifies frequently before congressional committees, serves as an advisor to members of Congress and other elected officials, and speaks nationally and internationally. She received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a PhD degree in economics at the University of Michigan and has received several honorary degrees.