Kenneth Thorpe

October 12, 2012
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy & Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He also co-directs the Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality. He was the Vanselow Professor of Health Policy and Director, Institute for Health Services Research at Tulane University. He was previously Professor of Health Policy and Administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an Associate Professor and Director of the Program on Health Care Financing and Insurance at the Harvard University School of Public Health and Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Public Health at Columbia University. Dr. Thorpe has also held Visiting Faculty positions at Pepperdine University and Duke University. 

Dr. Thorpe was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1995. In this capacity, he coordinated all financial estimates and program impacts of President Clinton’s health care reform proposals for the White House. He also directed the administration’s estimation efforts in dealing with Congressional health care reform proposals during the 103rd and 104th sessions of Congress. 

As an academic, he has testified before several committees in the U.S. Senate and House on health care reform and insurance issues. In 1991, Dr. Thorpe was awarded the Young Investigator Award presented to the most promising health services researcher in the country under age 40 by the Association for Health Services Research. He also received the Hettleman Award for academic and scholarly research at the University of North Carolina and was provided an “Up and Comers” award by Modern Healthcare. 

Dr. Thorpe has authored and co-authored over 85 articles, book chapters and books and is a frequent national presenter on issues of health care financing, insurance and health care reform at health care conferences, television and the media. He has worked with several groups (including the American College of Physicians, American Hospital Association, National Coalition on Health Care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Service Employees International Union, and the United Hospital Fund) and policymakers (including Senators Wellstone, Corzine, Bingaman, Snowe, Clinton, Obama and Kennedy) to develop and evaluate alternative approaches for providing health insurance to the uninsured. He serves as a reviewer on several health care journals. 

Dr. Thorpe is a frequent commenter on health care issues in the print media and television. He has appeared on Nightline with Ted Koppel, NBC News with Tom Brokow, ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, CNN, CNBC and Newshour with Jim Lehrer. Dr. Thorpe received his Ph.D. from the Rand Graduate School, an M.A. from Duke University and his B.A. from the University of Michigan.

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