2012 Leonard Schaeffer Announcement

Dear Price Community:

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce that the University of Southern California has received a $25 million gift from Leonard D. Schaeffer to endow and support the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Jointly housed in the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the USC School of Pharmacy, the Schaeffer Center is a model of interdisciplinary scholarship and a tremendous source of pride for the university. Established in 2009 with a gift from Leonard and Pamela Schaeffer, the USC Schaeffer Center has developed into one of the nation’s premier health policy institutions, securing more than $45 million in external funding, including research funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Research from the USC Schaeffer Center provides critical health policy guidance and innovative solutions that have the potential to transform health care systems. The results of these studies are routinely published in top peer-reviewed journals and featured in leading media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Politico and NPR.

The Center is led by prominent economist Dana Goldman and other Price School faculty, including Darius Lakdawalla and Daniel McFadden, as well as key faculty from the USC School of Pharmacy and other USC schools. This generous gift will enable faculty to build upon their prolific and groundbreaking research, further cementing the Price School’s position as a leader in health policy, and bolstering the university’s commitment to using evidence-based research to address pressing health policy challenges.

In addition to expanding the research portfolio of the Schaeffer Center, this gift will help train Price students to be innovators in health policy, developing new research methods and supporting an interdisciplinary approach to complex health issues such as insurance competition, prescription drug adherence, and the fiscal future of Social Security and Medicare.

We are delighted to partner with Leonard Schaeffer in advancing the legacy of the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Throughout the remarkable three-year history of the center, Leonard has demonstrated a profound commitment to evidence-based health policy research and its impact on public policy and society.

Leonard is the founding Chairman and CEO of WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. In 1986, Schaeffer was recruited as CEO of Blue Cross of California, overseeing the turnaround of the predecessor to WellPoint, and completing 17 acquisitions. During his tenure, the value of the company grew from $11 million to more than $49 billion. Schaeffer’s illustrious government career includes serving as Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, now the CMS, and as Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Currently, he is a senior advisor to TPG Capital, a private equity firm, in addition to holding a Judge Widney Chair at USC, a select executive-in-residence position named for one of USC’s founders. He is also a member of the School’s Board of Councilors, and serves on the boards of the Brookings Institution, Harvard Medical School, RAND, Quintiles and Amgen. Schaeffer lectures and writes widely on health policy issues.

In closing, I invite you to join me in celebrating this extraordinary investment in the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. We are deeply grateful for Leonard’s vision and support of this pioneering institution, which will have a vital impact on the transformation of health care for generations to come.



Jack H. Knott