Note: *denotes planning committee member, †denotes roundtable member
Edward E. Baptist, Ph.D., is professor in the Department of History at Cornell University. Dr. Baptist is the author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (2014) and Creating an Old South: Middle Florida’s Plantation Frontier before the Civil War (2002), and winner of the Organization of American History’s Avery O. Craven Award. He is a co-editor with the late Stephanie Camp of New Studies in the History of American Slavery (2006) and, with Louis Hyman, of American Capitalism: A Reader (2014). With faculty colleagues from four other universities, Baptist leads Freedom on the Move (http://freedomonthemove.org), which is building a crowdsourced database of all North American fugitive slave ads. Along with The Hard History Project, Freedom on the Move is building instructional resources to support the widespread use of the database for teaching American history to middle and high school students.
Raymond Baxter,† Ph.D., is the co-chair of the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Dr. Baxter has led a distinguished career devoted to improving health and health care in America and the world. His leadership in strategy, policy, operations, and research has touched nearly every facet of the health field: public health, hospitals and ambulatory care, integrated delivery systems, mental health, long-term care, and environmental health.
Dr. Baxter most recently was CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Its mission is to make California the healthiest state and to end domestic violence, by addressing the root causes of ill health and inequity. For 15 years, Baxter was Kaiser Permanente’s national senior vice president for community benefit, research, and health policy. There he built the largest community benefit program in the United States, investing more than $2 billion annually in community health. He led Kaiser Permanente’s signature national health improvement partnerships, including the Weight of the Nation, the Convergence Partnership, and the Partnership for a Healthier America. Dr. Baxter established Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Effectiveness and Safety Research and built out its national genomics research bank, served as President of KP International, and chaired Kaiser Permanente’s field-leading environmental stewardship work. He was also a founding sponsor of the KP School of Medicine.
Previously Dr. Baxter headed the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, and The Lewin Group. He holds a doctorate from Princeton University. Dr. Baxter currently serves on the advisory boards to the Deans of the University of California (UC) Berkeley School of Public Health and the UC San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing, and the boards of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation and the Blue Shield of California Foundation. He served multiple terms on the Global Agenda Council on Health of the World Economic Forum and the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.
Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo,† Ph.D., M.D., M.A.S., is professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and the Lee Goldman, M.D. Endowed Professor of Medicine. She is the inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. Dr. Bibbins-Domingo co-founded the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital that generates actionable research to increase health equity and reduce health disparities in at-risk populations in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, and nationally. She is one of the Principal Investigators of the UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute and leads the UCSF COVID Community Public Health Initiative.
Dr. Bibbins-Domingo is a general internist, cardiovascular disease epidemiologist, and a national leader in prevention and interventions to address health disparities. She is a National Institutes of Health–funded researcher who uses observational studies, pragmatic trials, and simulation modeling to examine effective clinical, public health, and policy
interventions aimed at prevention. She leads the UCSF Cardiovascular Disease Policy Model group that conducts simulation modeling, disease projections, and cost-effectiveness analyses related to cardiovascular disease in the United States and in other national contexts.
Dr. Bibbins-Domingo was a member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force from 2010 to 2017 and led the Task Force as the vice-chair and chair from 2014 to 2017. She is an inducted member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the National Academy of Medicine.
Melissa Boteach, M.P.P., M.Sc., is the Vice President for Income Security and Child Care/Early Learning at National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). Boteach oversees NWLC’s advocacy, policy, and public education strategies to ensure that all women and families have the income and supports they need to thrive. Prior to joining NWLC, she spent nearly a decade at the Center for American Progress, where she founded and led the Poverty to Prosperity Program, growing it from a team of 1 to 17; establishing projects to center the voices of low-income families; leading the team’s message and narrative change work; overseeing intersectional advocacy campaigns; and developing bold ideas to cut poverty and expand opportunity that resulted in new legislation, executive actions, and other progress. Boteach also served as policy editor on The Shriver Report, a book and multimedia platform on the 1 in 3 U.S. women on the financial brink and solutions to help them push back. Previously, she worked at The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, where she led interfaith antipoverty campaigns. She has testified before Congress and frequently serves as a media spokesperson on issues relating to economic opportunity. A Harry Truman and George J. Mitchell Scholar, Boteach has a master’s in public policy from The George Washington University, a master’s in equality studies from University College Dublin where she studied women in social movements, and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maryland in government and Spanish.
Terrell Cannon, M.H.S., is director of Training & Workforce Development at Home Care Associates (HCA). She began her professional career in 1993 working for HCA, a worker-owned company. After training to be a home health aide, Cannon worked as an aide for six years before utilizing HCA’s then Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program and became a CNA. As a CNA, she worked briefly at a nursing facility that contracted with HCA. She became involved in the care of others, and later exceled in HCA as worker owner (co-op member) peer mentor, specialty direct care worker, training assistant, case manager, job coach, scheduler, and supervisor, and supported other departments in the organization. Cannon’s
progress led to a promotion, and she then became a lead trainer and eventually the Director of Training for HCA. Cannon is also an advocate and voice for caregivers, attending many forums and conferences speaking on the challenges of caregiving and how the economy effects growth and sustainability for the caregiver.
Cannon taught HCA’s Home Health Aide/Direct Care Worker (HHA/DCW) curriculum for eight years, while continuing her formal education in college, where she received her master’s degree in human services before being promoted to Director of Training. Currently she is responsible for curriculum design, recruitment, HHA/DCW training, Enhanced/Specialized Training, worker-owner trainings, and evaluation of HCA Training Programs. Her trainings at HCA provide opportunities for growth and development as well as continued education for home health aides, direct care workers, and worker owners.
Debbie Chang,*† M.P.H., is president and chief executive officer at Blue Shield of California Foundation. Chang leads the Foundation’s work to make California the healthiest state and to end domestic violence, and she oversees more than $35 million in annual grantmaking. Throughout her career she has championed equity and inclusion in health and health care, drawing on a deep personal commitment to building a more just and equitable world. Chang is a nationally recognized public health, health care financing, and policy expert. For more than 35 years, she has demonstrated a proven record of establishing innovative programs and national and regional partnerships. Her numerous honors, awards, speeches, and publications—especially in the areas of social determinants of health, systems transformation, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and prevention—are a testament to her vast achievements and career-long commitment to support the wellbeing of all people.
Prior to joining the Foundation in 2020, Chang served as Senior Vice President and Chief Policy and Prevention Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System where she led transformative efforts to focus on value-based care and health outcomes. She has held key positions in government, including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with oversight for Maryland’s Medicaid program, and was the first Federal Director of CHIP. Chang holds an M.P.H. in policy and administration from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Anne De Biasi (Ekedahl), M.H.A., is a senior fellow at Well-being and Equity in the World (WE in the World). She has dedicated her career to improving access to health care and promoting the health of the public. In
addition to her role at WE in the World, Ekedahl is health policy consultant, leveraging skills honed by more than 30 years of work in health care, community health, and health policy. Ekedahl was previously the Director of Policy Development at the Trust for America’s Health, leading the strategy for incorporating prevention and public health into the reforming health system. She served as the first Director of Child Health Policy and Advocacy at Nemours, Director of Public Policy at the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and first Director of the Children’s Dental Health Project. She was also President/CEO of the Oak Orchard Community Health Center in New York and went to Washington, D.C. as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, working as health care staff for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Ekedahl is a Leadership Rochester graduate and received a “40 under 40 Award” from the Rochester Business Journal. She serves on the board of Mary’s Center, a Federally-Qualified Health Center, and on the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly’s Education and Scholarship Task Force.
Rita Hamad,* M.D., Ph.D., is a social epidemiologist and family physician in the Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Department of Family & Community Medicine at UCSF. As the Director of the Social Policies for Health Equity Research (SPHERE) Program, she leads a research team investigating the pathways linking poverty and education with health disparities across the life course. In particular, Dr. Hamad studies the health effects of social and economic policies using interdisciplinary quasi-experimental methods. Current studies address the health effects of the earned income tax credit, school segregation, paid leave, and social policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is committed to enhancing the reach and impact of policy-relevant research among academics, policymakers, and community organizations to eliminate health inequities. In addition, as the Associate Director of the UCSF Center for Health Equity, Dr. Hamad organizes seminars to increase dialogue about health equity research at UCSF and beyond. And as the Faculty Lead for Research Resources of the UCSF Population Health Data Initiative, she develops data infrastructure to advance population health research. She is also the 2020–2022 James C. Puffer American Board of Family Medicine/National Academy of Medicine Fellow. Dr. Hamad holds an M.D. from UCSF and a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Stanford University.
Darrick Hamilton, Ph.D., is a university professor, the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, and the founding director of the Institute for the Study of Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School. Considered one of the nation’s foremost scholars, economists, and public intellectuals, Dr. Hamilton’s accomplishments include
recently being profiled in The New York Times, Mother Jones magazine, and the Wall Street Journal and being featured in Politico Magazine’s 2017 50 Ideas Shaping American Politics and the People Behind Them issue. He is also a member of the Marguerite Casey Foundation in partnership with the Group Health Foundation’s inaugural class of Freedom Scholars.
Dr. Hamilton has been involved in crafting policy proposals, such as Baby Bonds and a Federal Job Guarantee, which have garnered a great deal of media attention and served as inspirations for legislative proposals at the federal, state, and local levels. He has served as a member of the economic committee of the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force; he has testified before several senate and house committees, including the Joint Economic Committee on the nation’s potential policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced health and economic crises; he was a surrogate and advisor for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign; and he has advised numerous other leading Members of Congress, as well as various 2020 presidential candidates.
Mary Ignatius, M.S.W., is the statewide organizer of Parent Voices, a parent-led grassroots organizing effort fighting to make quality child care accessible and affordable for all families. As the statewide organizer since August 2005, she coordinates the work of its 13 chapters and implements the leadership development model Parent Voices has crafted for more than 20 years. Under her tenure, Parent Voices has won the most progressive child care eligibility policies in the nation, restored a child care program that was eliminated, and protected child care subsidies for thousands of families.
Born and raised in the Bay Area by Indian immigrants and as a mother of two budding feminist sons, Ignatius’ commitment to social and economic justice is both personal and political. She holds a Master of Social Work in Administration and Social Planning from Temple University and a Bachelor of Social Work from Rutgers University. Ignatius was a fellow of the Ms. Foundation for Women’s OpEd Project-Public Voices program and received the Foundation’s prestigious Woman of Vision Award in April 2016. In 2018, she joined the Assembly’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Care and Education as a Community Commissioner. Her other previous experience includes work with the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, Instructor-City College of San Francisco, and Project SURVIVE.
Josie Kalipeni, M.A., is executive director of Family Values @ Work. Born in Malawi, Kalipeni has seen inequities in one of the poorest countries in the world and in one of the richest. As a social worker, she saw firsthand the systemic challenges families experienced. As a result, she is committed
to transforming systems and policies, including dismantling racism and toxic narratives of individualism, scarcity and “the deserving.” She leads with the belief that those most impacted by the problems are closest to the solutions. Kalipeni has worked in policy advocacy, organizing, and strategy development for two decades, centering those most marginalized because that is how we will get to an economy that works for all of us. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in social justice and community development from Loyola University.
Julie Kashen, M.P.P., is a senior fellow and director for Women’s Economic Justice at The Century Foundation. Kashen has expertise in work and family, caregiving, economic mobility, and labor, and has more than two decades of experience forwarding these issues in federal and state government and through the nonprofit sector, including helping to draft three major pieces of national legislation. As a labor policy advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), she helped draft and build momentum for the first paid sick days bill in Congress, the Healthy Families Act. As policy director of the three-year Make It Work campaign, she drafted a visionary child care proposal, whose principles were incorporated into the Child Care for Working Families Act. And as a senior advisor to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, she led the work to create and introduce the first-ever national Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. In addition, as Deputy Director of Policy for Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), she helped New Jersey become the second state in the nation to adopt paid family and medical leave. She is an active member of many child care, paid leave, and equal pay coalitions and tables.
Kashen holds a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s with highest honors in political science from the University of Michigan. She was an adjunct lecturer on work and family issues and poverty in the United States at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Ai-jen Poo is the co-founder and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a nonprofit organization working to bring quality work, dignity, and fairness to the growing numbers of workers who care and clean in our homes, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. In 12 short years, with the help of more than 70 local affiliate organizations and chapters and more than 200,000 members, the National Domestic Workers Alliance has passed Domestic Worker Bills of Rights in nine states and the city of Seattle, and brought more than 2 million home care workers under minimum wage protections. In 2011, Poo launched Caring Across Generations to unite American families in a
campaign to achieve bold solutions to the nation’s crumbling care infrastructure. The campaign has catalyzed groundbreaking policy change in states, including the nation’s first family caregiver benefit in Hawaii, and the first long-term care social insurance fund in Washington State. Poo is also a leading voice in the women’s movement. In 2019, Poo co-founded SuperMajority, a new home for women’s activism, training, and mobilizing a multiracial, intergenerational community who will fight for gender equity together. She serves as a Senior Advisor to Care in Action, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group dedicated to fighting for a civic voice for millions of women of color, particularly domestic workers in the United States.
Poo has been recognized among Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and she has been the recipient of countless awards. She has made TV appearances on Nightline, MSNBC, and Morning Joe, and her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Maire Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and CNN.com, among others. She has also been an influential voice in the #MeToo movement and attended the 2018 Golden Globe Awards with Meryl Streep as part of the launch of #TimesUp. Poo served as a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored Partnership for Mobility from Poverty, and currently serves as a trustee of the Ford Foundation and a member of the Democratic National Committee. She has a B.A. from Columbia University and honorary doctorates from Smith College, the New School, and the City University of New York.
Jason Purnell,*† Ph.D., M.P.H., is the vice president of Community Health Improvement at BJC HealthCare and an associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. In his role at BJC, he is responsible for setting strategic direction for the elimination of health disparities for one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health systems. He has brought focus to this work by highlighting the importance of leveraging BJC’s role as an anchor institution, partnering authentically with the most impacted members of the community, and advancing policy to address the social determinants of health. Dr. Purnell joined BJC HealthCare in 2020 after over a decade on the faculty of the Brown School, where he directed Health Equity Works, an initiative committed to translating data and research into collaborative community action to advance health equity. Dr. Purnell provides support for the Brown School’s strategic efforts to advance community-science as well as Washington University’s St. Louis commitment strategy. He works to align initiatives between the University and BJC HealthCare. His scholarly work has appeared in leading scientific journals, and his work has been covered by national and international media outlets. Dr. Purnell holds an undergraduate degree in
government and philosophy from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from The Ohio State University, and an M.P.H. from the University of Rochester.
Somava Saha, M.D., M.S., serves as founder and executive lead of Well-being and Equity in the World (WE in the World), as well as executive lead of the Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network, which work together to advance inter-generational well-being and equity. Dr. Saha has dedicated her career to improving health, wellbeing, and equity through the development of thriving people, organizations, and communities. She has worked as a primary care internist and pediatrician in the safety net and a global public health practitioner for more than 20 years. Over the last five years, as Vice President at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Dr. Saha founded and led the 100 Million Healthier Lives (100MLives) initiative, which brought together, 1,850+ partners in 30+ countries reaching more than 500 million people to improve health, wellbeing, and equity. She and her team at WE in the World continue to advance and scale the frameworks, tools, and outcomes from this initiative as a core implementation partner in 100MLives.
Previously, Dr. Saha served as Vice President of Patient Centered Medical Home Development at Cambridge Health Alliance, where she co-led a transformation that improved health outcomes for a safety net population above the national 90th percentile, improved joy and meaning of work for the workforce, and reduced medical expense by 10 percent. She served as the founding Medical Director of the CHA Revere Family Health Center and the Whidden Hospitalist Service, leading to substantial improvements in access, experience, quality, and cost for safety net patients. In 2012, Dr. Saha was recognized as 1 of 10 inaugural Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Young Leaders for her contributions to improving the health of the nation. She has consulted with leaders from across the world, including Guyana, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Tunisia, Denmark, and Brazil. She has appeared on a panel with the Dalai Lama, keynoted conferences around the world, and had her work featured on Sanjay Gupta, the Katie Couric Show, PBS, and CNN. In 2016 she was elected as a Leading Causes of Life Global Fellow.
April Sims is Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (WSLC), elected by its affiliated unions in December 2018 and beginning her four-year term on January 5, 2019. She is the first woman of color and the first black person to be elected as a WSLC executive officer.
Prior to her election, Sims had served as the WSLC’s Political and Strategic Campaign Director since November 2017, working to develop shared agendas with labor and community partners, to advance strategic
organizing campaigns, and to recruit, train and elect political champions for working people. She first joined the WSLC in September 2015 as field mobilization director, working with WSLC-affiliated unions and community partners to support and encourage the participation of individual members with many different political, legislative, and community programs.
Sims joined the WSLC staff, after serving as the Legislative and Political Action Field Coordinator for the Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE), where she was responsible for member education, communication, and mobilization around legislative issues and political campaigns. She was a WFSE member, shop steward, elected union officer, and union staffer from 2002 to 2015. Sims firmly believes in the power of working people organizing together, and has dedicated her working life to affirming that power. For her, the importance of union membership is personal; it was her mother’s union position as a psychiatric security attendant at Western State Hospital that allowed her family to move off welfare and build a sense of financial security.
Kosali Simon,*† Ph.D., is a nationally known health economist who specializes in applying economic analysis in the context of health insurance and health care policy. Her research explores the impacts of state and federal health policies on health and related outcomes. Dr. Simon currently serves as the Herman Wells Professor at the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and as the Associate Vice Provost of Health Sciences for the campus. She is also active in national leadership roles in her profession, serving on several boards and in editorial positions, including editor of Journal of Health Economics, co-editor of Journal of Human Resources, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and member of the Congressional Budget Office’s panel of Health Advisors. Dr. Simon holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.A. from Hamilton College.