The Century Foundation (TCF), a leading progressive think tank, today announced the addition of two new experts to its health care team: Fellow Thomas Waldrop and Senior Associate Vina Smith-Ramakrishnan. The hires will provide TCF’s growing health care program, led by Dr. Jamila K. Taylor, additional capacity and expertise as the team expands its work in the areas of maternal health and reproductive justice, as well as health equity and efforts to achieve universal, affordable coverage.

“Thomas and Vina are true health care champions. Not only do they bring deep policy and research expertise, they are also incredible advocates who know how to advance change within the political and legislative system,” said Dr. Jamila K. Taylor, TCF’s Director of Health Care Reform and Senior Fellow. “I’m thrilled to welcome them to the team as we scale up our work towards health equity, reproductive justice, and universal coverage.”

At TCF, Waldrop will focus on research and advocacy to expand health care coverage and affordability, with an eye toward communities that are most likely to be uninsured and have poorer health outcomes, including Black, Brown, and low-income people. He most recently served as a policy analyst for Health Policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where he focused on prescription drug pricing and health coverage expansion. Before CAP, he worked at Stateside Associates, monitoring state-level health care legislation on a variety of issues.

At TCF, Smith-Ramakrishnan will work on issues related to maternal health and reproductive rights and justice, with a focus on eliminating racial and gender disparities. Prior to joining TCF, Vina served as a research associate at Population Institute, where she conducted research and published educational and advocacy materials on gender equality and reproductive rights domestically and internationally. She has also held positions at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan D.C. and The Democracy Collaborative.

Under Dr. Taylor’s leadership, TCF has greatly expanded its influence and impact in health care policy in recent years. The organization was one of the earliest and most vocal to sound the alarm on COVID-19 health disparities, helping make the case for fairer access to treatment and vaccines throughout the pandemic. The team’s expertise and advocacy has similarly brought unprecedented attention to the Black maternal health crisis in America, as well as the attacks on abortion access and reproductive rights nationwide.

“The pandemic shone a bright light on our nation’s vast health disparities, and further underscored how important access to quality, affordable care is to every aspect of someone’s life,” said Mark Zuckerman, President of The Century Foundation and a former senior official in Congress and the Obama White House. “Under Dr. Taylor’s stewardship, TCF’s health care team has been punching above its weight for years, and the additions of Thomas and Vina will allow us to take our work and impact to the next level.”