The Century Foundation (TCF), a 100-year-old progressive think tank, today announced the hiring of Dr. Jamila K. Taylor as director of health care reform and senior fellow. A global leader and recognized expert in women’s health and reproductive justice, Dr. Taylor will lead TCF’s work in health care and health policy, taking the helm from Jeanne Lambrew, who left the organization earlier this year to become Maine’s top health official. 

Dr. Taylor brings over two decades of experience in health policy and advocacy, including most recently as senior fellow and director of the women’s health and rights program at the Center for American Progress (CAP). In her new role, Taylor will lead TCF’s efforts to build on the Affordable Care Act and help develop the next generation of health reform to achieve high-quality, affordable, and universal coverage in America. Taylor will also greatly expand TCF’s work in the realm of women’s health and reproductive justice, focusing on the structural barriers to access to health care, racial and gender disparities in health outcomes, and the intersections between health care and economic justice issues. 

“Jamila is the perfect person to lead TCF’s work in health care. Not only is she a world-class researcher and policy expert, she has an unparalleled understanding of how health care policy plays out in the lives of everyday people,” said Mark Zuckerman, president of The Century Foundation. “Jamila approaches health policy from a multidisciplinary lens and with an eye toward equity. And at a time when the health care of tens of millions of people—and the reproductive rights of millions more—are under siege, that type of deep, intersectional approach to the work is needed more than ever. We’re thrilled to have her come on board.”

Prior to leading CAP’s women’s health team, Taylor was a senior advisor at Ipas, a global NGO dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortion. Throughout her 20+ year career, she has championed the health and rights of women both in the U.S. and around the world, promoting policies that ensure access to reproductive and maternal health care, including building support for insurance coverage of abortion. She started her career as a congressional staffer in the office of Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), and has also worked for the Virginia General Assembly, the AIDS Institute, the National Network of Abortion Funds, and the Center for Health and Gender Equity.

“Women’s health, reproductive rights, and racial and economic justice are health care policy. We can’t expect to achieve truly universal health care coverage in this country if we don’t also work to tackle the structural barriers facing women, people of color, and other marginalized groups,” said Jamila Taylor. “The Century Foundation has a long tradition of working across issue areas and supporting policy solutions aimed at the root causes of inequality, not just its symptoms. I’m excited to build on the work that TCF has already done on the road to universal coverage, and look forward to continuing to expand our conception of what ‘health policy’ is, and put women and people of color at the center of the health reform discussion.”

Taylor is a frequent commentator in the media on a range of topics related to reproductive health and rights and public policy. She graduated with honors from Hampton University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and she also holds a master’s degree in public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in political science from Howard University. Taylor serves on the board of directors for Provide Inc. and Mamatoto Village, as well as Reproductive Freedom Leadership Council Advocates Advisory Board of State Innovation Exchange (SiX) and as a collaborator with Black Mamas Matter Alliance. She will be based out of TCF’s Washington, D.C. office, and begins her new role on August 5.