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Brian Anderson, MD, MITRE

Dr. Brian Anderson is MITRE’s Chief Digital Health Physician, leading R&D efforts across major strategic initiatives in digital health with industry and the U.S. government including MITRE’s largest health R&D effort in oncology and personalized medicine. He is responsible for co-founding the Coalition for Health AI (CHAI), and the VCI™ coalition of more than 1,000 organizations working towards interoperable and verifiable clinical information; leading MITRE’s development of machine learning techniques to leverage real world health data; and linking genomic and clinical data to provide insight into the efficacy of therapeutics and vaccines. 

Dr. Anderson is an internationally recognized expert, author, and speaker in digital health and innovation, health standards development, clinical decision support systems, and interoperability. He completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and his bachelor and medical degrees at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. 

Wendy Armendariz, Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health 

Wendy Armendariz is Chief Executive Officer for Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH), a community health center in the Phoenix-metro area that provides medical, dental, nutrition, psychiatry, and behavioral health services for the community. NOAH serves more than 47,000 patients each year, providing quality health care services to all community members including low-income, underserved, and special populations. Armendariz, who joined NOAH in 2012, has a passion for community health centers that began 20 years ago in public health, developing maternal and child health programs. Since then, she has served community health centers at the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers and worked closely with federal and state agencies to develop strategic partnerships, training, and resources to address health center challenges.  

Armendariz holds a bachelor’s degree in health promotion from Northern Arizona University and a master’s degree in business administration from the

University of Arizona. She is a fellow of the UCLA Johnson and Johnson Health Care Executive Program, alumni of Scottsdale Leadership-Class 31 and has held various board memberships with community organizations.   

Adam Beck, AHIP 

Adam Beck is Senior Vice President of Commercial Product and Employer Policy at AHIP. Over the past seven years at AHIP, Beck has been instrumental in the passage and implementation of the No Surprises Act and legislative and regulatory efforts to advance value-based insurance design. Prior to joining AHIP, he was assistant professor of health insurance at the American College of Financial Services, where he ran the Chartered Health Care Consultant designation and the MassMutual Center for Special Needs. He has authored a textbook on the Affordable Care Act and frequently comments in the news media as an expert on health insurance reform. His public service experience includes stints at the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Washington Office of the Governor of Louisiana, and as a staffer on President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns. 

Beck earned his law degree from Temple University, a master’s degree from the American College, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the George Washington University. 

Jacob Brown, Lockton Companies

Jacob joined Lockton Companies in March 2013 as an Executive Vice President responsible for setting strategic direction for client insurance programs, team leadership, and new business development. In his role, he leverages the full range of Lockton’s health and welfare services to address client needs in the areas of benefit plan design, compliance, healthcare reform, employee health risk solutions, technology, compensation, and executive benefits. Jacob has extensive expertise in health plan strategy development, health plan cost management, financial analytics, underwriting, and contract negotiations. His specialty is in helping business executives evaluate risks to their most important asset, their human capital, and creating comprehensive strategies to protect and gain greater returns on their human capital spend. Jacob is active in the community and the insurance industry, serving as Immediate Past President of the Board for The Foundation for Blind Children as well as advisory committees for several insurance companies.

Sabrina Corlette, J.D., Center on Health Insurance Reforms 

Sabrina Corlette, J.D., is a research professor, founder, and co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy.  In her role, Corlette directs research on health reform issues with a focus on state and federal regulation of private health insurance. She also provides expertise and strategic advice to individuals and organizations on health insurance laws and programs and provides technical support through the publication of resource guides, white papers, issue briefs, blog posts, and fact sheets. Throughout her career, Corlette has testified before Congress and is frequently quoted by media outlets on emerging health care issues. She has published papers relating to the regulation of private health insurance and health insurance marketplaces. 

Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Corlette was Director of Health Policy Programs at the National Partnership for Women and Families, where she provided policy expertise and direction for the organization’s advocacy on health care reform. From 1997 to 2001, she worked for the U.S. Senate Health 

Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, where she served as health legislative assistant to Senator Tom Harkin. After leaving the Hill, she served as an attorney at Hogan Lovells law firm, advising clients on health care law and policy. 

Corlette serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for Virginia’s State Health Benefit Exchange. She is a member of the D.C. Bar and received her J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin and her undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard University. 

Christine Ferguson, Leverage Global Consulting

Nationally recognized as an innovator in high-profile executive roles, Christine Ferguson has served as a director on the corporate boards of two health insurance companies. She has held key leadership positions with three governors and has served on a U.S. Senate staff. Additionally, she has been a consultant and advisor to private and nonprofit executives, the Congressional Budget Office, the Institute of Medicine, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and numerous state and national organizations. Under her leadership, Rhode Island took a unique approach to building a health insurance exchange (HSRI), which was recognized as one of seven global examples of innovation and disruption in health care by the Imperial College of London and the WISH Foundation. In 2015, she co-founded LEVERAGE with two primary goals: to provide comprehensive support for leaders and decision-makers in a time of uncertainty and dynamic change and to develop and bring to market on-the ground solutions that bridge the gap between business and technology. 

Susan Gaffney, National Health Council

After nearly 30 years of experience working with non-profits across the country, Susan Gaffney joined the National Health Council in March 2020 and is now its Executive Vice President of Membership, Development, and Events.

Gaffney provides strategic direction for the groups fundamental work of ensuring that its robust membership is engaged and supported while tackling the critical issues related to chronic health conditions, which are at the heart of the NHC’s mission.

Gaffney’s progressive experience in both the health and non-profit sectors allows her to draw on a range of skills and experiences in helping to drive the NHC’s work.

Previously, Gaffney had been the National Director of Membership and Governance at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where she focused on nonprofit governance, compliance, strategy, and member support. 

She has also worked in a variety of roles in the nonprofit education and health sectors in Washington, DC, New York, and San Francisco including the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. Growing up in Long Island, New York, Gaffney is especially proud of her background as a first-generation American who maintains dual citizenship with her family’s ancestral home in Ireland. As a mother of three boys, family is near and dear to Gaffney’s heart and just as part of the NHC’s work includes advocating on behalf of caregivers, Gaffney herself has firsthand experience in that role, having spent over 10 years helping to care for her own parents during their struggles with chronic health issues. Gaffney earned a master’s in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy from the Milano School of Policy, Management, and Environment at The New School in New York City, and a bachelor’s in history from St. Bonaventure University. She is certified in Group Facilitation by the Institute of Cultural Affairs and as a Change Management Practitioner by Prosci.

Paul Grand, MedTech Innovator 

Paul Grand is CEO of MedTech Innovator, the largest life science accelerator in the world, and the premier nonprofit global accelerator for the medical technology industry. Grand has an extensive global network in transformative medical innovation. Funded by and in partnership with 35 leading corporate partners, nonprofits, and federal agencies, MedTech Innovator identifies the most promising med tech startups around the world and connects them with stakeholders for mentorship and funding to ensure that transformative technologies reach patients and improve lives. Graduates have brought more than 300 products to market, raised over $7.6B in follow-on funding, and transformed millions of lives. 

Prior to MedTech Innovator, Grand was Managing Director at RCT Ventures, an early-stage life science investor since 2005. At RCT, Grand focused on med tech investments and sourcing innovation. He founded MedTech Innovator as a program within RCT Ventures in 2013 and left to run MedTech Innovator as a stand-alone company with RCT’s support in 2016. 

Grand is actively involved in programs to encourage health care innovation. He has lectured and mentored students and scientists at universities like UCLA, Stanford, USC, and UCSF. Furthermore, he served as an investment advisor to the LARTA NIH Commercialization Assistance Program for SBIR awardees and on the Oversight Committees for the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Programs at USC and the University of Washington. Grand has reviewed proof of concept and commercialization-focused funding programs for the University of California, USC, the University of Utah, and the University of Colorado. 

Tara McCollum-Plese, Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) 

Tara McCollum-Plese is a Board Member for the Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH). Some of her responsibilities include directing government and media relations at the state, federal, and local levels and working with legislators, members of Congress, the Governor’s office and state and federal agencies that impact community health centers.  

An advocate for access to quality, affordable, integrated, primary health care, McCollum-Plese serves on a variety of health care-related boards and committees including the State Medicaid Advisory Committee, the State Medicaid Policy Committee, Asian Pacific Communities in Action, National Association for Community Health Centers (NACHC) Rural Health Committee, and the Legislative Committee. She is also a former member of the NACHC Board of Directors and is a proud recipient of the 2019 NACHC Henry Fiumelli Patient Advocate Award. 

McCollum-Plese graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. 

Sunita Mishra, MD, MBA, Amazon Health Services 

Dr. Sunita Mishra is the Chief Medical Officer for Amazon Health Services, which aims to make it dramatically easier to find, choose, afford, and engage with the services, products, and professionals needed to get and stay healthy through offerings like Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon Clinic, and One Medical. Throughout her career, Dr. Mishra has focused on developing models of care that create a sustainable clinician experience while delivering on a more high-quality, human experience for patients. She’s an internist and has practiced as a primary care physician for over 20 years in both the U.S. and Singapore. Prior to her current role as Chief Medical Officer for Amazon Health Services, Dr. Mishra scaled and ran the medical group for Amazon Care. She joined Amazon after spending eight years at Providence, where she served in several roles — including Vice President for Consumer Innovation and Chief Executive of Express Care. Dr. Mishra received her bachelor and medical degrees from the University of Arizona, her clinical training from the University of Washington, and her MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  

Amanda Pears Kelly, Advocates for Community Health 

Amanda Pears Kelly is the CEO of Advocates for Community Health (ACH), where she spearheads the association’s work to advance the delivery of health care to underserved populations and achieve health equity communities in need. As a founding member of ACH, Kelly was instrumental in shaping the organization’s strategy and vision. She actively provides the leadership necessary for ACH to achieve its mission, while driving overall strategic decisions that direct ACH’s growth. 

A fierce advocate for health equity, Kelly also serves concurrently as the Executive Director of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU). With more than 15 years of experience translating complex issues into resources leveraged widely across the health center community and beyond, she has a proven record of launching grassroots advocacy initiatives to define health care initiatives that positively impact tens of millions of patients living in underserved communities across the U.S. 

Kelly maintains deep expertise in providing training and technical assistance to health centers and other organizations caring for underserved populations. Her depth of knowledge and years of work with underserved communities has enabled her to share recognized best practices and lessons learned relative to health care workforce recruitment, retention, pipeline programming, and more. Prior to joining ACH and ACU, she held leadership positions working in government affairs, policy, and advocacy as the vice president of grassroots & internal advocacy at the American Diabetes Association, and as the National Director of Advocacy and Civic Engagement at the National Association of Community Health Centers. Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire and is a graduate of the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at Boston University.  

Randy Rutta, National Health Council

Randall “Randy” Rutta joined the National Health Council (NHC) as Chief Executive Officer in February 2021. The NHC brings diverse organizations together to forge consensus and drive patient-centered health policy, and Rutta inspires NHC staff to implement a Board-driven strategic plan, public policy, and advocacy efforts. Rutta leads the NHC as the organization enters its second century with the goal of effecting change across the entire health system and promoting increased access to affordable, high-value, sustainable health care. The NHC brings diverse organizations together to forge consensus and drive patient-centered health policy, and Rutta inspires NHC staff to implement a Board-driven strategic plan, public policy, and advocacy efforts.

Prior to joining the NHC, Rutta was President and CEO of the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA), a national organization dedicated to addressing the problem of autoimmunity. AARDA initiated and hosts the 40-member National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups and 

is a longtime member of the NHC. He also served as AARDA’s Federal Policy Consultant. Before AARDA, he served as President and CEO at Easterseals, a global nonprofit dedicated to the health, well-being, and success of people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and families. 

Rutta’s career experience has been in acute care, health care quality assurance, and health policy development and implementation. He holds a master’s degree in politics — focusing on international health policy — from Catholic University of America and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota. 

Anthony Shop, Social Driver 

Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers, and hosts the Communications Board’s forthcoming podcast, “Chief Influencer.” Shop is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and nonprofits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, the British Embassy, and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Shop was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the board of Leadership Greater Washington.

He earned his MBA from the George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer. 

Jeff Todd, Prevent Blindness

Jeff Todd is President and CEO of Prevent Blindness, the leading eye health and safety organization in the U.S. dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight across all age and eye conditions. He joined the organization in 2003 as Director of Public Health and later served as Chief Operating Officer until becoming President and CEO in April 2018. His contributions to the organization include establishing the Center for Vision and Population Health, launching the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, fostering an annual national summit as a forum for the exchange of ideas relating to vision and public health, and overseeing the development of leading public health research — which has become widely used to capture the prevalence and cost of vision problems across the U.S. 

In addition to his work at Prevent Blindness, Todd is the Chair of the National Health Council’s Board of Directors. He also chairs the NHC’s Public Policy Committee, the Advisory Committee to the Prevent Child Injury coalition, the 

Executive Committee of Vision 2020 USA, and the Advisory Board to Jonas Children’s Vision Care at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a past chair of the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, has served on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Howard Brown Health Center, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. 

Todd earned a juris doctor degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, an Executive Education Certificate from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, a master’s degree in communications from Butler University, and a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University Bloomington. 

David Wasserman, The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, NBC Contributor 

David Wasserman is the Senior Editor and Election Analyst for the nonpartisan newsletter, The Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, and a contributor to NBC News. In his role, Wasserman analyzes the current political environment. His data-driven forecasting looks at both national and local trends (he does district-by-district outlooks upon request), the relationship between consumer brand loyalty and voting, and what the future holds for American elections. He is exclusively represented by the Leading Authorities speaker’s bureau. In 2016, Wasserman drew wide praise for his accurate pre-election analysis, including his uncanny September piece entitled, “How Trump Could Win the White House While Losing the Popular Vote.” With his keen political intelligence, Wasserman has served as an analyst for the NBC News Election Night Decision Desk since 2008 and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, and NPR. His commentary is cited in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, POLITICO, and the Washington Post. 

In 2018, his groundbreaking interactive collaboration with FiveThirtyEight, the “Atlas of Redistricting,” took top prize for News Data App of the Year. 

An enthusiast for data and maps, Wasserman serves as a contributing writer to the Almanac of American Politics. He has shared insights into the latest political trends with audiences at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, the Dole Institute of Politics, and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics — where he was named a resident Pritzker Fellow in 2019. He has also served for three years as House editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a political analysis newsletter founded by University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato. A native of New Jersey, Wasserman is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he was awarded the 2006 Emmerich-Wright Outstanding Thesis prize.

Akilah Watkins, PhDIndependent Sector 

Dr. Akilah Watkins is President and Chief Executive Officer of Independent Sector.  A 25-year national thought leader, convener, and nonprofit executive, Dr. Watkins’ work began at the age of 14 when she led efforts to convert a vacant lot and abandoned home into a community center in Roosevelt, New York. Since then, she’s served as an executive leader for nonprofits and community development initiatives, including work with the Obama administration, NeighborWorks America, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Her career’s work has focused on helping people, communities, and local and federal government drive impactful reform for key community health and economic development issues.  

Prior to joining Independent Sector, Dr. Watkins led the Center for Community Progress, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending systemics cycles of vacancy and abandonment. Under her leadership, the Center launched the National

Land Bank Network, spearheaded federal and state legislative work, and collaborated with over 300 communities across the country in deep technical assistance work to advance equitable outcomes.  

Dr. Watkins is an alumna of the University of Illinois at Chicago where she earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology and a Master of Arts in Sociology. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University where she received two Master of Science degrees in Education and Community Economic Development. She received her Bachelor of Science in Community and Human Services from the State University of New York, Empire State College.