Karen Fisher, JD
Chief Public Policy Officer
Karen Fisher, JD, is the AAMC’s chief public policy officer. In that role, she is responsible for ensuring that the association fulfills its responsibility to be the “voice of academic medicine” to federal policymakers. She leads the AAMC’s policy and advocacy efforts on federal policies affecting the “health of all,” particularly those involving AAMC-member medical schools and teaching hospitals’ missions of education, research, clinical care, and community collaborations.
An expert on health care policy analysis, development, and implementation, Fisher has more than 25 years of legislative and regulatory expertise gained from both the public and private sectors. From 2011 to 2016, she served as senior health counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, where she played a key role in the drafting and passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, including its creation of a new Medicare physician payment system. She also served as a lead advisor to committee members on a broad range of issues affecting health care financing, delivery, and quality.
Before moving to the Senate in 2011, Fisher served as a senior director in the AAMC’s Health Care Affairs cluster, where she focused on teaching hospital regulatory and policy issues. Previously, she was a senior health policy analyst and general counsel of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission — the predecessor of today’s Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
Fisher earned her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh twice, for a total of eight years, including chairing the Board’s Health Sciences Committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Board of Surgery and a member of the Board of Trustees for ECRI, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care across all health care settings worldwide.