Special Edition: Robert Otto Valdez Named AHRQ Director
February 22, 2022
Robert Otto Valdez, Ph.D., M.H.S.A., internationally recognized expert in health services research, the U.S. healthcare system, and health policy analysis, has been named AHRQ’s new director. Dr. Valdez, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Professor Emeritus of Family & Community Medicine and Economics at the University of New Mexico, brings to AHRQ a wealth of experience in academia, government and nonprofit organizations.
“I’m very excited to welcome Bob as the director of AHRQ,” said David Meyers, M.D., the agency’s deputy director. ”We’re extremely fortunate to have someone of his experience to help lead the agency. He is taking the helm at an opportune time as we look to the future of healthcare post-COVID and set our sights on how we can improve care, including health equity.”
Dr. Valdez received his Ph.D. from the Pardee RAND Graduate School for Public Policy Studies specializing in studies of healthcare financing and quality of medical care. He was awarded a master’s degree in health policy and administration at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and at Harvard University Dr. Valdez studied in the Department of History and Science specializing in Latin American history and biochemistry.
“I am so pleased that the Administration has selected an experienced leader for this important role,” said Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., FAAP, president and chief executive officer of AcademyHealth. “AHRQ and the critical research it supports have never been more important as our country navigates COVID’s impact and we respond to the longstanding drivers of persistent health and healthcare inequities. Dr. Valdez’s deep expertise in research, health disparities and health policy will guide AHRQ toward even greater impact.”
Dr. Valdez will begin his tenure at AHRQ immediately. Learn more from Dr. Valdez’s biographical sketch. Dr. Meyers, who served as acting director since January 2021, has resumed his role as deputy director.
Editor’s Note: Look for the next regular edition of AHRQ News Now on Feb. 24.