David Colby Named Vice President of Public Policy for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    • October 26, 2012

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced the appointment of health care expert David C. Colby, PhD, as its first-ever vice president of public policy. He joined the Foundation in 1998, most recently leading the organization’s research and evaluation efforts.   

Colby will begin his new role in January 2013 and split his time between Washington, D.C., and RWJF’s headquarters in Princeton, N.J.

Prior to joining RWJF, Colby spent nine years in the federal government—first with the Physician Payment Review Commission, then as deputy director of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. While working in government, Colby developed policy research contributing to landmark legislation that changed the formula for Medicare reimbursement. Previously, he worked on physician payment issues as a Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Fellow in Health Care Finance, serving in the Congressional Budget Office.

“David’s experience in both the federal government and academic sectors makes him uniquely qualified to lead our representation on important matters of public policy,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD. “He understands how to translate practical research findings into applicable lessons for both policy-makers and health care providers. He will significantly enhance our presence in Washington.”

Colby joined RWJF as a senior program officer and has subsequently held a number of leadership positions, including directing RWJF’s coverage and quality efforts, and serving as deputy director of its Health Care Group. He held various positions in RWJF’s research and evaluation department before being selected to lead R&E efforts in 2007.

“I look forward to sharing with the policy-making community some of the lessons we’ve learned through $9 billion in grant making over four decades,” said Colby. “I’m also looking forward to this being a two-way street, where I can relay needs for future research and demonstrations back to the Foundation. In order to make practical and sound public policies, policy makers, practitioners and others first need reliable, objective research as well as demonstrations of new interventions.” 

Earlier in his career, Colby was associate professor in the Policy Sciences Graduate Program and coordinator of the Master of Policy Sciences Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He was dean of freshmen and assistant dean at Williams College and held faculty positions at Williams College and State University College at Buffalo.

Colby’s published research has focused on Medicaid and Medicare, media coverage of AIDS and civil rights. He was an associate editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law from 1995 to 2002. In 2000, he was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance for his contributions to the nation’s understanding of social insurance programs.

Colby earned his doctorate degree in political science from the University of Illinois. He received a master’s degree from Ohio University, and a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses exclusively on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse groups of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937