Susan Dentzer Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Susan Dentzer      

Senior Policy Adviser to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Susan Dentzer is Senior Policy Adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest health and healthcare philanthropy, based in Princeton, New Jersey. In this role, she works closely with foundation leaders to carry out the organizational mission of improving the health and healthcare of all Americans. One of the nation's most respected health and health policy thought leaders and journalists, she is also an on-air analyst on health issues on the PBS NewsHour.

Dentzer is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow of both the National Academy of Social Insurance, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation’s leading experts on social insurance, and the Hastings Center, an institution dedicated to bioethics and the public interest. She is also a public trustee of the American Board of Medical Specialties, the not‐for‐profit organization that oversees 24 approved medical specialty boards in setting standards for board certification and maintenance of certification for the nation’s physicians, and a member of the board of directors of Research!America, which advocates for increased US investment in biomedical research.

Dentzer is a frequent guest commentator on such National Public Radio shows as “This American Life” and “The Diane Rehm Show.” From May 2008 to April 2013, Dentzer was the editor‐in‐chief of Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal of health policy, where she transformed the journal from a bimonthly academic publication to a highly readable and topical monthly journal and online publication with more than 120 million page views annually.

Prior to joining the journal, Dentzer was on-air correspondent on health and health policy for the PBS NewsHour, where she earned numerous awards for her work (the unit was supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Before joining the NewsHour, Dentzer served as chief economics correspondent and economics columnist for US News & World Report and a senior writer for Newsweek.

Dentzer has been the recipient of several fellowships, including the Nieman fellowship for journalists at Harvard University and the US-Japan leadership program fellowship sponsored by the Japan Society of New York.

Dentzer is also a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization providing relief to refugees and displaced persons around the world. She chairs the IRC board’s Program Committee, which oversees the organization’s activities in resettling refugees in the United States and in dealing with refugees and displaced persons in roughly 25 countries. Dentzer has served on IRC commissions examining the problems of domestic violence against women in West Africa and, in 2007, the situation of Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan.

A graduate of Dartmouth and holder of an honorary master of arts from the institution, Susan Dentzer is a Dartmouth trustee emerita, and was the only woman to date to chair the Dartmouth Board of Trustees, which she did from 2001 to 2004. The winner of the Dartmouth Alumni Award, the Young Alumni Award, and the Dartmouth Presidential Medal for Achievement, she has served on the Board of Overseers of Dartmouth Medical School since 1993.

Speech Topics

Political Economics

In this informative presentation, Susan Dentzer analyzes fiscal and budgetary problems facing the US, outlines current disputes, and explains whether or not they revolve around healthcare. While examining current battles between Congress and the White House, she offers both short-and long-term solutions, and explains what it all means for consumers, associations, and corporations.

The Future of Healthcare Policy

As an expert on healthcare policy, Susan Dentzer cuts through the rhetoric and examines the latest policy changes and explains what they mean for the future.

She will touch upon:

The Future of Medicare reform

Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid

Rising to meet America's Healthcare Challenge

Health Care

Dentzer speaks on a wide variety of topics in health care, including rising health care costs; aging; breakthroughs in treatment and research; health insurance issues; health policy issues such as Medicare reform, the uninsured, and prescription drug coverage. She also speaks frequently about Washington and health care –what’s ahead in Congress and within the Bush administration, and how that could have an effect on patients, health policy and providers.

Social Security

Dentzer has followed closely the debate over reforming Social Security and creating a system of individual accounts within the program. She speaks knowledgeably on the economics and politics of Social Security, and places these in the broader context of the overall effects on the U.S. and the world of the rapid aging of the population.

The Federal Budget

Dentzer has followed federal fiscal policy for two decades, from the era of federal budget deficits to surpluses and back again to the current budget deficits. She speaks knowledgeably on the debate over restraining the growth of spending, cutting or raising taxes and balancing the nation’s commitments to health care, retirement and social programs.

The Economy

From consumer spending to international trade to the performance of the financial markets, Dentzer takes a broad look at the economy’s performance and examines the underlying factors likely to shape that performance in the future. Dentzer specializes in making these presentations sophisticated and yet “user-friendly” and readily understandable for non-specialist audiences.

Higher Education

Dentzer is chair of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees and has a longstanding interest in higher education. She speaks on a range of topics in this field, including the importance of liberal arts education; the costs and value of higher education in general; critical issues in university and academic governance. She has also delivered several commencement addresses. Rather than giving off-the-shelf address, she prefers to tailor those speeches so they pertain more directly to the institution at which she is speaking and to the students who are graduating, in order to give the occasion a personal touch.


Susan Dentzer on reinventing health care - Wichita Business Journal

What we are really engaged in is a whole lot of reinvention on how we provide...

Talk will look at health care law's impact - News - Citizens' Voice

[email protected], 570-821-2115- What: Susan Dentzer, a journalist and senior policy adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will speak ...

Susan Dentzer | CFO Network 2014 | The Wall Street Journal

Susan Dentzer is Senior Policy Adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy focused on health and health care in the ...

What Are the Effects and Requirements for Employers Under Health ...

But how does it affect Americans who get their insurance through their workplace ? NewsHour analyst Susan Dentzer joins Ray Suarez to help answer frequently ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Susan