Gail R. Wilensky, PhD, 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 George H.W. Bush. She was also the first chair of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. Her expertise is in strategies to reform health care, with particular emphasis on Medicare, comparative effectiveness research, and military health care.
Wilensky currently serves as a trustee of the Combined Benefits Fund of the United Mine Workers of America and the National Opinion Research Center. She is on the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and on the Board of Directors of the Geisinger Health System Foundation, United Health Group, Quest Diagnostics, and Brainscope.
She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, served two terms on its governing council and currently chairs the Healthcare Servicing Board. She is a former chair of the Board of Directors of AcademyHealth, a former trustee of the American Heart Association, and a current or former director of numerous other nonprofit organizations.
Wilensky testifies frequently 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 PhD in economics from the University of Michigan and has received several honorary degrees.