Tara Oakman is a senior fellow and director of health equity and reform at The Century Foundation, where her work focuses on helping shape a more equitable, accessible American health care system. Previously, she had been at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest health and health care philanthropy, where she was the interim managing director of the RWJF’s Transforming Health and Healthcare Systems thematic area. In that role, she led the strategy development and implementation planning for how RWJF can work to address the structural racism being perpetuated in health care and public health systems and the resulting major health inequities. While at RWJF, she has also led much of the portfolio of work on access, affordability and equity of Medicaid and Marketplace coverage in states.
Prior to RWJF, she served as director of the Quality Team in the Exchange Policy and Operations Group at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this role, she oversaw implementation of the sections of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that set the quality-related requirements for the new Health Insurance Marketplaces and participating issuers. She also helped to write some of the first market reform regulations under the ACA. Earlier, she was an international health officer with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Global Health Affairs implementing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. She also served as a program analyst in the HHS Budget Office with responsibility for evaluating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget.
Tara received a BA in political science from Brown University, a masters of public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD in health care policy from Harvard University. She has written and lectured on the uninsured, Medicare, health care reform, philanthropy, and a host of other issues.
Tara lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and children.