Robert Otto Valdez, PhD
Robert Otto Valdez, PhD, was appointed director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in February 2022. He was previously the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Professor Emeritus of Family & Community Medicine and Economics at the University of New Mexico. From 1993 through 1997, Dr. Valdez served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Public Health Service) and as Director of Interagency Health Policy (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services). Before joining DHHS in 1993, he served as a special senior advisor to the Clinton White House on healthcare reform. He also served in the Office of Child Health for the Health Care Financing Administration during the Carter Administration.
In 2008, Dr. Valdez was the founding executive director of the RWJF Center for Health Policy at UNM. He previously served as the founding Dean at the Drexel University School of Public Health. From 1985 through 1999, he was a professor of health services at the UCLA School of Public Health. He started his career as the lead child health researcher for the historic RAND Health Insurance Experiment. Internationally recognized as an expert in health services research, the U.S. healthcare system and health policy analysis, he has led numerous global healthcare initiatives with the Pan American Health Organization and the University of California. His health promotion and disease prevention work with Univision Communications Corporation, “Salud es Vida: ¡Enterate!” was recognized with journalism’s prestigious Peabody Award.