Plenary Speakers

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

Vivek H. Murthy, MD
19th Surgeon General of the United States (2014-2017)

Dr. Murthy is the Distinguished Policy Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Before serving as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States (from December 2014 to April 2017), Dr. Murthy practiced and taught internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He also has an MBA from Yale. As The Nation’s Doctor, he brought both passion and innovation to the challenges of leading America’s national healthcare initiatives. Throughout his career, Dr. Murthy has led the way in medical education, social action, and healthcare dialogue. He has co-founded several healthcare community organizations and grassroots citizen movements, including Visions, a peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States that reached tens of thousands of students and Swasthya, a community health partnership that trained women in small villages in India to become healthcare providers and educators. He also co-founded TrialNetworks, a software company that developed collaborative technology for accelerating clinical trials, and a nonprofit organization, Doctors for America, that organized physicians in all 50 states to advocate for high quality, affordable health care for all.

As the Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy issued the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling the nation to action to address this deadly disease. He launched the national TurnTheTideRx campaign to address the opioid crisis, and he was the first Surgeon General to issue a letter to health professionals across America calling them to action to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths. His final Surgeon General’s Report was on E-cigarettes and Youth and was the first federal report on the topic. As Vice Admiral of the Public Health Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy was the youngest active duty flag officer in federal uniformed service.

Dr. Murthy brings a unique, nonpartisan perspective and deep experience to the debate about healthcare reform. He understands the concerns of all the stakeholders and how the system works — and how it could work better. Dr. Murthy emphasizes emotional wellbeing as the unexpected key to a healthier and stronger America. He talks about the science behind emotional well-being and it’s implications for the addiction crisis in America, chronic disease, community violence, education, creativity, workplace productivity, and educational outcomes.

Alvin E. Roth

Alvin E. Roth, PhD
Craig and Susan McCaw Professor of Economics
Stanford University
Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration Emeritus
Harvard University

Dr. Roth is a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a professor, by courtesy, for the school of Management Science and Engineering, and the George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration Emeritus at Harvard University. He works in the areas of game theory, experimental economics and market design. Dr. Roth was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, 2012, (Nobel Prize in Economics) shared with Lloyd Shapley, for their research on "Stable Allocations and the Practice of Market Design", which included research on the algorithm used by the NRMP. Dr. Roth's current work focuses on the organization of labor (and other) markets, bargaining, and learning in strategic environments. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science before moving to Stanford University to earn his Master's and Doctoral degrees in Operations Research. Dr. Roth's expertise in the field of economics and research brings unique insight to the discussion around the history of the NRMP's matching algorithm.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel

Shankar Vedantam
Author, The Hidden Brain
NPR’s Social Science Correspondent

Author and NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam offers unique insights into how our unconscious biases — what he calls the hidden brain — affect the decisions we make both personally and as groups and organizations. He bases these insights on data, not on psychological theories of the subconscious. Mr. Vedantam is National Public Radio’s social science correspondent and the host of the Hidden Brain Podcast. He spent ten years as a reporter for The Washington Post and wrote the Post’s Department of Human Behavior column from 2007 to 2009. Mr. Vedantam also served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University from 2009 to 2010. The recipient of numerous awards, Mr. Vedantam has lectured at Harvard University and Columbia University, served on the advisory board of the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships in Science & Religion, and been a senior scholar at the W International Center for Scholars in Washington. Few speakers bring such a trove of breakthroughs in social science research to their audiences’ concerns.

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