Robert Kocher, Former National Economic Council Member, Named Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow

Robert Kocher, MD, a former special assistant to President Obama on the National Economic Council, will join Brookings as a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Dr. Kocher will provide expert assistance and counsel to the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform, supporting the center’s efforts to develop data-driven, practical policy solutions that will foster high-quality, innovative health care.

“Bob’s extensive knowledge of health care and economic policy, combined with his vast experience working with hospitals, health systems, and policy makers throughout the world, will provide valuable insight to our work,” said Talbott. “I look forward to his contributions as we continue to work to reform our health care system.”

Dr. Kocher joined the Obama administration in January 2009. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he led the McKinsey Global Institute’s health care economic research team, serving private and public sector clients. He also led major research efforts focusing on the economic incentives of the U.S. health care system, the high costs of health care, and how to develop a framework for guiding health system reform around the world.

"Bob has proven himself as a key thought leader in health economics and policy,” said Karen Dynan, vice president and co-director of Economic Studies and Robert S. Kerr fellow. “His input will help inform and enrich debate as health care reform and the nation’s economy move forward.”

Kocher's work has been widely published, including in The New England Journal of Medicine, Washington Post and New York Times. He earned his medical degree from The George Washington University, and completed a research fellowship with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

Led by Mark McClellan, director and Leonard D. Schaeffer chair in Health Policy Studies, the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform promotes the broad-based exchange of ideas to develop consensus around practical steps for health care reform. It also provides technical support for both collaborative work among a wide range of stakeholders and actual implementation of reforms. The center’s overall focus is on key priority areas that are critical to the kind of reform that will improve not just the health care system, but the health of individual patients.