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Mark McClellan, MD, PhD

by Stephani Simmons

April 20, 2020

Robert J. Margolis Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, and Founding Director, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University

Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, is the Robert J. Margolis Professor of Business, Medicine, and Policy, and founding Director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. With offices in Durham, NC and Washington, DC, the Center is a university-wide Duke initiative that is quickly becoming nationally and internationally-recognized for research, evaluation, implementation, and educational initiatives to improve health policy and health. It integrates Duke’s expertise in the social, clinical, and analytical sciences alongside engagement with health care leaders and stakeholders, to develop and apply policy solutions that improve health, health equity, and the value of health care locally, nationally, and worldwide.

Dr. McClellan is a doctor and an economist whose has addressed a wide range of strategies and policy reforms to improve health care, including payment reform to promote better outcomes and lower costs, methods for development and use of real-world evidence, and strategies for more effective biomedical innovation.
At the center of the nation’s efforts to combat the pandemic, Dr. McClellan is the co-author of a roadmap that details the steps needed for a comprehensive COVID-19 response and safe reopening of our country. His current work on responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency spans virus containment and testing strategies, reforming health care toward more resilient models of delivering care, and accelerating the development of therapeutics and vaccines.
Before coming to Duke, he served as a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he was Director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiatives and led the Richard Merkin Initiative on Payment Reform and Clinical Leadership. He also has a highly distinguished record in public service and academic research.

Dr. 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, Medicare and Medicaid payment reforms, the FDA’s Critical Path Initiative, and public-private initiatives to develop better information on the quality and cost of care. He has also previously served as a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and senior director for health care policy at the White House, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury.
Dr. McClellan is the founding chair and a Senior Advisor of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). He chairs the NAM’s Leadership Council for Value and Science-Driven Health Care, co-chairs the Guiding Committee of the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, and is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a Senior Advisor on the faculty of the University of Texas Dell Medical School and is an independent director on the boards of Johnson & Johnson, Cigna, Alignment Healthcare, and PrognomIQ. He was previously an associate professor of economics and medicine with tenure at Stanford University, and has twice received the Kenneth Arrow Award for Outstanding Research in Health Economics.

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