Cara James


Dr. Cara James is the president and CEO of Grantmakers in Health (GIH), a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Dr. James is a nationally recognized expert and thought leader in health equity and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations. In her new role, she will lead GIH’s national network comprised of roughly 230 foundations and corporate giving programs, representing 38 states and the District of Columbia. In her previous role as Director of the Office of Minority Health at CMS, she provided leadership, vision, and direction to advance U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CMS goals related to improving minority health and eliminating health disparities. Under her guidance, CMS developed its first CMS Equity Plan to Improve Quality in Medicare, its first Rural Health Strategy, created an ongoing initiative to help individuals understand their coverage and connect to care, and strengthened the quality, collection and reporting of demographic data, including standardized data on the social determinants of health. Prior to joining CMS, Dr. James served as Director of the Disparities Policy Project and Director of the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and she worked at Harvard University and The Picker Institute. Dr. James is a past member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s (NASEM) (formerly the Institute of Medicine or IOM) Health and Medicine Division’s Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities.