About

John E McDonough is a Professor of Public Health Practice in the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston and Director of the School’s Center for Executive and Continuing Professional Education.

In 2010, he was the first Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health at Hunter College in New York City.  Between 2008 and 2010, he served as a Senior Advisor on National Health Reform to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions — chaired by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy — where he worked as part of a large team of Congressional staffers on the development and passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Between 2003 and 2008, John served as Executive Director of Health Care for All, Massachusetts’ leading consumer health advocacy organization, where he was deeply involved in the passage and implementation of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform law.  Between 1998 and 2003, he was an Associate Professor at the Heller School at Brandeis University and a Senior Associate at its Schneider Institute for Health Policy.  From 1985 to 1997, he served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from a district including large portions of the Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Roslindale; while in the Legislature, he co-chaired the Joint Committees on Health Care and on Insurance among many legislative assignments.

He holds a doctoral degree in public health from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, a masters degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College.

John has written many articles that have appeared in journals such as Health Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine and others.  He has written three books, Inside National Health Reform, published in September 2011 by the University of California Press and the Milbank Fund,Experiencing Politics: A Legislator’s Stories of Government and Health Care by the University of California Press and the Milbank Fund in 2000, and Interests, Ideas, and Deregulation: The Fate of Hospital Rate Setting by the University of Michigan Press in 1998.

He received a doctorate in public health in 1996 from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan and a master’s in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1990.  Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Families USA and on the Board of Directors of the Community Catalyst Action Fund.

John grew up in Waltham Massachusetts, the son of Irish immigrant parents.  His mother, Helen, worked as a cook and maid in the household of James Michael Curley, the legendary Boston political figure who served as Governor, Mayor, Congressman, Alderman, and more over five decades in the first half of the 20th century.

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