Sharon Arnold to Receive Fourth Alumni Leadership Award

May 3, 2018

Sharon Arnold (cohort '85), Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Data Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services, will receive Pardee RAND's fourth biennial Alumni Leadership Award on June 15 during the school's Commencement and Alumni Weekend.

In announcing Arnold as this year’s recipient, Dean Susan L. Marquis remarked, “Sharon was enthusiastically chosen for this award by faculty members and her fellow alumni. Every day at Pardee RAND, we call upon our students to be the answer to the challenges they see around them and prepare them to be a catalyst for change in public policy. Sharon’s leadership and contributions in government and working with other research organizations reflect the passion, integrity and application of skills that we expect from our alumni. I am thrilled to recognize her with year’s Alumni Leadership Award.”

Biography of Sharon Arnold

In her current role, Arnold serves as a senior manager in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and assists the Deputy Assistant Secretary in leading an expert team of analysts, data scientists, economists, and strategic planners. She provides leadership in policy development, coordination, policy research, and evaluation related to public health, science and data policy issues.

Arnold was previously deputy director at the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) from July 2014 to March 2018, and she twice served as acting director. She was also acting director of AHRQ's Center for Delivery, Organization and Markets. In that role, she led the Agency’s day to day efforts to produce research and evidence, tools and training, and data and measures to improve the quality and safety of health care.

She also held a number of positions at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), including director of the Payment Policy and Financial Management Group in the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, where she implemented the financial provisions of the private insurance expansion including the risk adjustment, risk corridors, and reinsurance provisions; director of the Payment, Demonstration and Information Group in the Center for Medicare, where she led Medicare payment demonstrations and implemented risk adjustment for Medicare Advantage payments, and in the Office of Legislation.

From 2005 to 2009, Arnold was vice president at AcademyHealth, a nonprofit that brings together stakeholders to address current and future needs of an evolving health system, inform health policy and practice, and translate evidence into action. In this role she was responsible for the oversight of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization Initiative.

In addition to her Ph.D. from Pardee RAND, Arnold received an M.S.P.H. from UCLA and a B.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego.