News Release

KFF Announces Board Leadership Changes and New Trustees

Olympia Snowe Chair of the Board and Jim Canales Vice-Chair

Five New Trustees Have Been Elected

San Francisco – KFF announced today the election of former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe as the new chair and Jim Canales as vice-chair for its board of trustees and the completion of a two-year recruitment and selection process that has concluded with the election of five new trustees.

Snowe, a KFF trustee since 2016, succeeds James Doyle, former Governor of Wisconsin, whose term as a trustee came to an end last year. Jim Canales, President and Trustee of the Barr Foundation in Boston, succeeds Snowe as vice-chair and has been a KFF trustee since 2018.

“I’m honored to have been elected by my distinguished colleagues as we help guide KFF during these challenging times. The pandemic has highlighted the problems with our health system and KFF’s trusted health policy information is needed more than ever,” Senator Snowe said.

In addition to recent board leadership changes, KFF has completed a two-year effort led by the chair of the board’s selection and governance committee, former U.S. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, to elect five new members to the board: Frederick Cerise, MD, Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, Soledad O’Brien, Frederick Terrell, and Reed Tuckson, MD.

Frederick Cerise and Reed Tuckson were elected to the board last year and began their terms in the fall of 2021.

Frederick Cerise is President and Chief Executive Officer of Parkland Health & Hospital System and previously served as Vice President for Health Affairs and Medical Education of the Louisiana State University System. From 2004 to 2007, Dr. Cerise was Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. He serves on the federal Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission and previously served on KFF’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

Reed Tuckson is Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections LLC. and is a Co-Founder of the Black Coalition Against COVID, a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary effort working to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington, D.C. and nationally. He previously held numerous leadership positions in health care in the public and private sectors, including a long tenure as Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs for UnitedHealth Group. He was also Senior Vice President for Professional Standards of the AMA; Senior Vice President of the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation; President of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science; and Commissioner of Public Health for the District of Columbia.

Marcella Nunez-Smith, Soledad O’Brien, and Frederick Terrell were elected to the board of trustees this year. Mr. Terrell will begin his term in June and Dr. Nunez-Smith and Ms. O’Brien will start in September.

Frederick O. Terrell is a Senior Advisor with Centerbridge Partners, L.P. a multi-strategy investment management firm based in New York City. He is the former Executive Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Capital Markets at Credit Suisse and Founder and CEO of Provender Capital Group, LLC which made investments in emerging companies of behalf of major institutional investors. Mr. Terrell has an extensive background in finance, investment management and corporate governance and currently serves on the boards of BNY Mellon, where he is Chairman of the Audit Committee, Paramount Global, Vroom Inc. and Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi). He is a member of the Investment Committee of the Rockefeller Foundation, the boards of the Partnership Fund for New York City, Planet Word Museum and is a member of the Economic Club of New York and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Marcella Nunez-Smith serves as the inaugural Associate Dean for Health Equity Research, and C.N.H Long Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health and Management, and Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center at the Yale School of Medicine. The country saw Dr. Nunez-Smith regularly when she served as Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

Soledad O’Brien is a documentarian, journalist, producer, speaker, author, and philanthropist who has produced and reported as wide range of critically acclaimed journalism. She is currently the CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions, a multi-platform media production company, and anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” She also reports regularly for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” She has won numerous awards and authored two books.

“KFF’s ability to adapt and change as we continue to produce vital, relevant policy analysis, polling and journalism on health care issues is tied to the wealth of diverse experiences and the wisdom our board members bring to their duties as trustees. Our new board leadership and five new board members will add fresh perspectives and the judgment we need as we move the organization forward,” said KFF’s longtime CEO and President Drew Altman, PhD who founded the modern-day organization.

With the new additions, KFF’s board will have 13 members, including its CEO. The other board members currently serving are: President and CEO of the National Nursing League Beverly Malone PhD, RN, FAAN, Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Times Kevin Merida, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, former Chief Innovation Officer of GE Sue Siegel, and President of the ECMC Foundation Peter Taylor, MPP. Board members serve up to two five-year terms. Additional information about KFF’s board can be found at


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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.