Speaker Bios & Testimonies

Nancy Andrews

Nancy O. Andrews

@AndrewsNancy @Liifund

Nancy O. Andrews is the president and CEO of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a $700 million Community Development Financial Institution.  LIIF has invested $1.3 billion in community projects, serving over 1 million people. LIIF’s investments have leveraged $6.6 billion in private capital for distressed communities, generating over $22 billion in social benefits. Andrews’ 30-year career includes work with the Ford Foundation, the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund within the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her most recent book, jointly edited with David Erickson, is titled Investing in What Works for America’s Communities: Essays on People, Place, and Purpose. It is available at: whatworksforamerica.org.

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Elisabeth Babcock

Elisabeth D. Babcock, MCRP, PhD

@BethBabcock1 @LiveWorkThrive

Elisabeth (Beth) Babcock is president and CEO of Crittenton Women’s Union (CWU), an $11 million Boston-based non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income women move out of poverty to attain economic independence. Since 2006, Babcock has led CWU to be nationally-recognized for its applied research and program innovation related to economic mobility. CWU’s trademarked tools, the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency™ and Mobility Mentoring™, are creating unique public policy and direct service pathways that successfully lead families out of poverty and into family-sustaining jobs. 

CWU’s “action-tank” approach of combining direct services, research, and advocacy allows it to rapidly deploy and evolve new anti-poverty approaches that are holistic, long-term, and individualized. CWU programs have been validated by government, philanthropy, and national policy experts as breakthrough interventions creating significant gains in educational attainment, earnings, and savings for low-income families.

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Paula Braveman new

Paula Braveman, MD, MPH

Paula Braveman, MD, MPH, is professor of family and community medicine and director of the Center on Social Disparities in Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  For more than 25 years, Braveman has studied and published extensively on health equity and the social determinants of health, and has actively engaged in bringing attention to these issues in the U.S. and internationally.  Her research has focused on socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in health, particularly in maternal and infant health and health care.  During the 1990s she worked with World Health Organization staff in Geneva to develop and implement a global initiative on equity in health and health care.  Throughout her career, she has collaborated with local, state, national, and international health agencies to see rigorous research translated into practice with the goal of achieving greater equity in health.  She was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2002.

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David Erickson

David Erickson, PhD


David J. Erickson is director of the Center for Community Development Investments at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and edits the Federal Reserve journal Community Development Investment Review. His research areas in the Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve include community development finance, affordable housing, economic development, and institutional changes that benefit low-income communities. Erickson has a PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on economic history and public policy. He also holds a master’s degree in public policy from Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.  He has also been a leader in the collaboration between the Federal Reserve and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on bringing health together with community development.  To date, this collaboration has resulted in 15 conferences around the country and numerous publications, including a cluster of articles in Health Affairs in November, 2011.  His book on the history of community development, The Housing Policy Revolution:  Networks and Neighborhoods, was published in 2009 by the Urban Institute Press.  He also co-edited Investing in What Works for America’s Communities:  Essays on People, Place, and Purpose.  It is available at:  http://whatworksforamerica.org.

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David Fleming

David Fleming, MD


David W. Fleming, MD, is director and health officer for Public Health—Seattle and King County, a large metropolitan health department with 1,385 employees, 39 sites, and a budget of $318 million, serving a resident population of 1.9 million people. Department activities include core prevention programs, environmental health, community-oriented primary care, emergency medical services, correctional health services, public health preparedness, and community-based public health assessment and practices. 

Prior to assuming this role, Fleming directed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Strategies Program. Fleming has also served as the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fleming has published scientific articles on a wide range of public health issues. 

He received his medical degree from the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. He is board certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine and serves on the faculty of the departments of public health at both the University of Washington and Oregon Health Sciences University.

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Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a position she has held since 2003. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health and health care.

With more than 30 years of personal experience as a medical practitioner, policy-maker, professor and nonprofit executive, Lavizzo-Mourey combines the scientific and ethical values she learned as a doctor with an enduring conviction that meaningful philanthropy must achieve lasting social change. Under her leadership, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has researched, evaluated, and implemented transformative programs tackling the nation’s most pressing health issues, with the goal of creating a national culture of health.

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Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, Commission Co-Chair

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, is director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform and Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. McClellan’s work at the Engelberg Center focuses on promoting high-quality, innovative, and affordable health care. A doctor and economist by training, he also has a distinguished record in public service and in academic research. McClellan is a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where he developed and implemented major reforms in health policy. These include the Medicare prescription drug benefit, FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, and public-private initiatives to develop better information on the quality and cost of care. McClellan chairs the Reagan-Udall Foundation, is co-chair of the Quality Alliance Steering Committee, sits on the National Quality Forum’s board of directors, is a member of the Institute of Medicine, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and senior director for health care policy at the White House. He was an associate professor of economics and medicine at Stanford University.

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Jessie Rasmussen

Jessie Rasmussen

Jessie Rasmussen is the president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund in Omaha where she manages early childhood investments in Nebraska but also works in collaboration with other private investors at the national level to advance effective early childhood policies and practice based on sound research. Rasmussen’s entire professional career has focused on improving outcomes for children and families. Rasmussen began her career as an early childhood education teacher, administrator and infant-toddler specialist.  She spent the next 20 years of her profession in state government, first serving as a Nebraska state senator and as the state human services director in both Nebraska and Iowa. The next few years were spent as an advocate for children and families where she played an instrumental role in the development and successful passage of legislation in 2006 that established a $60 million early childhood endowment funded through a public and private partnership.

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Alice M. Rivlin, PhD, Commission Co-Chair

Alice M. Rivlin, PhD, is a visiting professor of public policy at Georgetown University and a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. Rivlin served as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget in the first Clinton administration and vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board. She also chaired the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority. Rivlin was the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and earlier served as assistant secretary in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 2010, President Obama appointed Rivlin to the Simpson-Bowles Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. She also co-chaired, with former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force. Rivlin received a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1983 and the Moynihan Prize in 2008. She taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School, George Mason University, and the New School. She served as a director of several major corporations and as president of the American Economic Association (1986).

Rivlin contributes frequently to newspapers, television, and radio. She has authored several books and numerous articles on the federal budget, federalism, health care finance, and social policy. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College and received a doctorate in philosophy in economics at Radcliffe College (Harvard University).

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Arthur Rolnick

Arthur J. Rolnick, PhD


Arthur J. Rolnick is a senior fellow and co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Rolnick is working to advance multidisciplinary research on child development and social policy. He previously served at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as a senior vice president and director of research and as an associate economist with the Federal Open Market Committee. Rolnick’s essays on public policy issues have gained national attention; his research interests include banking and financial economics, monetary policy, monetary history, the economics of federalism, and the economics of education. His work on early childhood development has garnered numerous awards, including those from the George Lucas Educational Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Health, both in 2007; he was also named 2005 Minnesotan of the Year by Minnesota Monthly magazine.

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Jack Shonkoff

Jack P. Shonkoff, MD


Jack P. Shonkoff, MD, is the Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education; professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital; and director of the university-wide Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. He currently serves as chair of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a multi-university collaboration comprising leading scholars in neuroscience, psychology, pediatrics, and economics, whose mission is to bring credible science to bear on public policy affecting young children. In 2011, Shonkoff launched Frontiers of Innovation, a multi-sector collaboration among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, investors, and experts in systems change who are committed to developing more effective intervention strategies to catalyze breakthrough impacts on the development and health of young children and families experiencing significant adversity.

Under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, Shonkoff served as chair of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families and chaired a blue-ribbon committee that produced the landmark report, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development.

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Laura Trudeau

Laura J. Trudeau


Laura Trudeau is senior program director for the Community Development and Detroit programs of The Kresge Foundation. She manages Re-Imagining Detroit 2020, The Kresge Foundation’s nine-point framework to reverse decades of disinvestment in Detroit and reposition the city as a model for revitalization.  Nationally, Trudeau works with community development grantmakers and practitioners to identify promising initiatives for the redevelopment of older industrial cities and to build bridges between Detroit and other urban communities to encourage the sharing of information and strategies.

In addition to leading the Community Development and Detroit teams, Trudeau co-manages Kresge’s program department. From 1972 to 2001, Trudeau worked at what is now JPMorgan Chase in the trust office, commercial banking and public affairs. As vice president and regional head for philanthropy and community relations in the Midwest, she oversaw the bank’s grantmaking activity in Detroit and surrounding areas.

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David R. Williams, PhD, Commission Staff Director


David R. Williams, PhD, is the Norman Professor of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and professor of African and African American studies at Harvard University. The author of more than 300 scientific papers, his research has focused on the ways in which socioeconomic status, race, racism, stress, and religious involvement can affect health. Williams served as staff director of the first Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America, guiding and coordinating its research, policy, and communications activities, and working closely with Commissioners. He also served as a key scientific advisor to the award-winning PBS film series, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He holds a master’s degree in public health from Loma Linda University and a PhD in sociology from the University of Michigan.

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