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Dr. Sommers is a health economist and a physician whose main research interests are health policy for vulnerable populations, the uninsured, and the health care safety net. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Outstanding Dissertation Award, Alice Hersh New Investigator Award, the 2015 Article-of-the-Year Award, and the 2017 Health Services Research Impact Award from AcademyHealth, a preeminent national association of health policy researchers; and the Outstanding Junior Investigator Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019. His research has been published in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Journal of Health Economics, and Health Affairs. His research has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and National Public Radio. He has testified before Congress and advised state Medicaid programs.
Dr. Sommers has served in the federal government in multiple leadership roles. In January 2021, he was appointed by President Biden as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and he served in that role until early 2023. From 2022-2023, he was appointed to lead ASPE as the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary. Previously, he served as a Senior Advisor in ASPE from 2011-2016, and continues in 2023 to serve in a part-time capacity as a Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary.
Dr. Sommers is a primary care doctor, and he is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard and an MD from Harvard Medical School.