Advisory Group and Staff

You may contact the Long-Term Care Financing Project through the Health Policy Institute main number at 202-687-0880 or via e-mail.

Advisory Group

Susan Dentzer – Chair

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Stuart Butler

Vice President, Domestic and Economic Policy
Heritage Foundation
Washington, D.C.

Marc Cohen

LifePlans, Inc.
Waltham, Massachusetts

David Durenberger

The National Institute of Health Policy

University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lex Frieden

Senior Vice President
The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research
Houston, Texas

James Jackson

Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Jim Knickman

President and Chief Executive Officer
New York State Health Foundation
New York, New York

Nelda McCall

Laguna Research Associates
San Francisco, California

Larry Polivka

Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

Richard Price

Director of Grassroots and Communications
Hart Health Strategies
Washington, DC

David Pryor

Professor and Founding Dean
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
Little Rock, Arkansas

William Scanlon

Health Policy Consultant
Oak Hill, Virginia

Shyrl Sistrunk

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Georgetown University Hospital
Washington, D.C.

Joshua Weiner

Senior Fellow and Program Director, Aging, Disability, and Long-Term Care
ETI International
Washington, D.C.


Sheila Burke – Co-Director

Sheila P. Burke, MPA, RN, FAAN, is the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for American Museums and National Programs. She began work on June 19, 2000. Before joining the Smithsonian Institution in June of 2000, Burke was executive dean and lecturer in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

She served as the chief of staff to former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole from 1986 to 1996 and was elected to serve as secretary of the Senate in 1995. Burke served as deputy chief of staff to the Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1986, as deputy staff director of the Senate Committee on Finance from 1982 to 1985, and as a professional staff member of the committee from 1979 to 1982.

Burke is an adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. She serves as an adjunct lecturer at both the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is a fellow of the school’s Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. From 1980 to 1981, Burke was a research assistant at the Center for Health Policy and Management (now the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy) at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Burke currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of Marymount University and the University of San Francisco. She is a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC); a member of the board of the Kaiser Family Foundation, Palo Alto, California; the Center for Health Care Strategies Inc., in Princeton, N.J.; the Kaiser Commission on the Future of Medicaid and Uninsured, in Washington, DC; the national advisory council at the Center for State Health Policy; the board of trustees of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation; and chair of the study panel on Restructuring Medicare for the Long Term, at the National Academy of Social Insurance in Washington, DC. She also serves on a number of corporate boards, including the Chubb Corporation, and WellPoint Health Networks.

Burke, 52, is a native of San Francisco. She earned a master of public administration from Harvard University in 1982 and a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of San Francisco in 1973. In 1999, she was awarded an honorary doctorate in military medicine from the University of the Uniform Health Services.

Early in her career, she worked as a staff nurse (1974) in Berkeley, Calif.

Judith Feder -Co-Director

Judy Feder is Professor and Dean of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and was the 2006 Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. She is one of the nation’s leaders in health policy–most particularly, in efforts to understand and improve the nation’s health insurance system. A widely published scholar, her three decades of policy research began at the Brookings Institution, continued at the Urban Institute, and, since 1984, has flourished at Georgetown University. Her expertise on the uninsured, Medicare, Medicaid, and long-term care is regularly drawn upon by members of Congress, Executive officials, and the national media.

Feder has also held leadership policy positions, both in the Congress and in the Executive Branch. As staff director of the congressional Pepper Commission (chaired by Senator John D. Rockefeller IV), Feder is widely credited with setting the stage for the health reform debate of the 1990s. In 1993, she was appointed to the Department of Health and Human Services, where she worked to expand health insurance coverage, effectively manage Medicare and Medicaid, and assure the safety of food and drugs.

Feder today pursues her policy leadership first and foremost by educating future policy leaders at Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute. She continues her research as co-director (with Sheila Burke) of the Georgetown University Long-term Care Financing Project and as senior advisor to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Feder is a former chair and board member of AcademyHealth; an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Public Administration and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Feder is a political scientist, with a B.A. from Brandeis University (1968) and a Master’s (1970) and Ph.D. (1977) from Harvard University.

Robert Friedland

Robert Friedland is Associate Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute and the Director of the Center on an Aging Society. Friedland has had a wide range of research and public policy experience, including Chief Economist for Maryland’s Medicaid program; Senior Research Associate at the Employee Benefit Research Institute; Director of the American Association of Retired Person’s Public Policy Institute; Research Director, National Academy of Social Insurance; and Economist on the staff of the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care, better known as the Pepper Commission.

Friedland has written on issues pertaining to the financing and delivery of health care and long-term care and retirement income security. His book, Facing the Costs of Long-Term Care, was awarded the 1992 Elizur Wright Award by the American Risk and Insurance Association.

Friedland is on the board of the National Academy for State Health Policy, the Long-Term Care Education Foundation, and the Editorial Board of Aging Today. Friedland received his Doctorate in Economics from the George Washington University in 1983.

Donald Jones

Donald Jones is the Systems Administrator/Webmaster at the Institute. He is the design and production manager for the Long-Term Care Financing Project. He is responsible for web design, computer hardware setup and troubleshooting, purchase recommendations, Unix administration, and software support. He is also a SAS programmer on projects involving long-term care, high cost Medicare recipients, and Employment Based Health Insurance. In his time at the Institute, Mr. Jones co-authored a report on Medicare+Choice with Geraldine Dallek.

Mr. Jones recieved a B.S. in Social Studies Education from The Ohio State University in 1995. He is currently a Masters Candidate in the Communications, Culture and Technology Program at Georgetown University.

Theresa Jordan

Executive Assistant

Harriet Komisar

Harriet L. Komisar is an Associate Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute. She is an economist with more than fifteen years of experience researching topics related to health care and long-term care financing and policy. Since joining Georgetown in 1996, most of her research has focused on assessing people’s needs for long-term care and evaluating the capacity of current and alternative policies to address those needs. Previously, Dr. Komisar was a principal analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office where she worked on issues related to Medicare’s payment policies. She received a B.A. from Yale University and a doctorate in economics from Cornell University.

Ellen O’Brien

Ellen O’Brien is Research Associate Professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University where her research focuses on health care and long-term care financing. She is the author of a number of recent papers on Medicaid and long-term care, including “Medicaid long-term care: asset shelter for the wealthy or essential safety net?” Her current projects include tracking state implementation of various provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, and an evaluation of Medicare’s special needs plans for dual eligibles. Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. O’Brien was a researcher at the Health Care Financing Administration (now, CMS). She holds B.S. in economics from Bowling Green State University, an M.A. in economics from the University of Iowa, and a doctorate in economics from the University of Notre Dame.

Laura Summer

Laura Summer is a Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. She has over 25 years of experience in the federal government, state government, independent policy organizations and academic institutions. She directs research that examines the manner in which states design, administer, and operate publicly financed health and long-term care programs. The focus of much of Laura’s recent work has been onmethods to increase enrollment in public programs for moderate and low-income Americans. She has written extensively about access to health insurance and health and long-term care for populations of all ages, as well as about the operation of the Medicaid and Medicare programs. Ms. Summer served as the Deputy Director for the Institute’s Center on an Aging Society for six years. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Summer was a policy consultant to a number of Washington-based organizations. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan.