Foundation-Affiliated Experts Help Shape Administration's Economic Policy

Publication Date: 
Jun 26, 2009

President Obama is getting an earful of advice these days from economic experts affiliated with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

Three people associated with the Scholars in Health Policy Research—a two-year fellowship for outstanding doctorally prepared researchers in the fields of economics, sociology and political science—are now serving on the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, which provides advice on economic matters.

They are Cecilia Rouse, Ph.D., a former member of the Foundation’s National Advisory Committee who is a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University; Michael Greenstone, Ph.D., a former Health & Society Scholar who is a professor of environmental economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.; and Scott Adams, Ph.D., a Health & Society Scholar alumnus and an associate professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. All three took leave from their university posts to serve in the administration.

The trio of economic advisers joins a group of other former RWJF scholars, investigators, and fellows who are now serving in high-ranking positions in the new administration.

Four health care experts with close ties to the Foundation have been nominated to serve in the Department of Health and Human Services; one has joined the staff of Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Obama; and another served on Obama’s transition team after the November elections.

In addition, two RWJF scholars were selected in late June as prestigious White House Fellows: Anish Mahajan, an internist and health services researcher who was a RWJF Clinical Scholar; and Mehret Mandefro, a primary care physician and HIV prevention researcher who was a RWJF Health & Society Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Fellows work in the White House and in various executive branch agencies and are responsible for a wide range of duties