Leonard D. Schaeffer is the founding Chairman & CEO of WellPoint, (now Elevance), which serves 47.5 million medical members. He is the Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) and is a Senior Advisor to Whistler Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
Schaeffer was Chairman & CEO of WellPoint from 1992 through 2004 and continued to serve as Chairman through 2005. In 1986, Schaeffer was recruited as CEO to WellPoint’s predecessor company, Blue Cross of California, when it was near bankruptcy. He managed its turnaround and the IPO creating WellPoint in 1993. During his tenure, WellPoint made 17 acquisitions.
In 2009, Schaeffer established the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC and chairs its advisory board. In 2014, he established the Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program which has supported 318 undergraduates in government internships. He has endowed chairs in health care financing and policy at the Brookings Institution, Harvard Medical School, the National Academy of Medicine, U.C. Berkeley, and USC.
In the federal government, he served as Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS) and was responsible for the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs. He was also the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, Schaeffer was Director of the Bureau of the Budget for the State of Illinois and also served as Chairman of the Illinois Capital Development Board and as Deputy Director for Management, Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.
Schaeffer serves on the boards of numerous business, philanthropic, and professional organizations, including the Brookings Institution, the board of fellows at Harvard Medical School, RAND, scPharmaceuticals, Inc., and USC, where he also chairs the USC Health System Board. At USC, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (Hon) and received the inaugural USC Sol Price Award for his achievements as a business leader, policy expert and philanthropist. He was the Regent’s Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, a Gilbert Fellow at Princeton, and a Williams Fellow at RAND. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness. A native of Evanston, Illinois, he is a graduate of Princeton University.