Where do you go after you lead one of the largest, most ambitious policy overhaul initiatives in the history of the United States — and it all falls apart?
If you’re Ira C. Magaziner, you go all over the map.
In the years since he co-led the Task Force to Reform Health Care with Hillary Rodham Clinton, working to cover all Americans with affordable health insurance and hold down the cost of care, Magaziner has moved on. Today, he is CEO of his own consulting firm, in addition to serving as chairman of international development initiatives for the William J. Clinton Foundation. There, he guides policy and action on global health and environmental issues, from climate change to HIV/AIDS, in wide-ranging work that touches every inhabited continent.
Magaziner will appear as a headline speaker discussing the future of health care at a gathering of visionaries being brought together by The Atlantic Media Company and UC San Diego Extension this fall. The October 17-19 “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” event will feature three days of thought-provoking conversations addressing new frontiers in science, medicine, art, technology and energy. His fellow panelists will include luminaries in their own right: John Reed, President & CEO, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute; Dr. Carl Dieffenbach, Director, Division of HIV/AIDS, National Institutes of Health; Dr. James Hildreth, Dean, College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis; and Dr. Steffanie Strathdee, Associate Dean of Global Health Sciences; Chief, Division of Global Public Health, UC San Diego.
For The Atlantic Meets the Pacific event details, and to register for the public event, please visit the registration site or http://events.theatlantic.com/atlanticmeetspacific/2011/
Based upon expertise formed as a management consultant in multiple industries, Magaziner made a series of bold recommendations for American health care in 1993. Many presaged the bill that actually managed to pass in 2010. The importance of universal coverage, shared risk insurance pools, and managed care were among the central architecture of the rejected Clinton-era plan, which was challenged by political opponents as “too complicated.” In hindsight, however, it appears that with the first provisions of the Affordable Care Act just now taking effect, Magaziner and Hillary Clinton may simply have been ahead of their time.
Founded in 1857, The Atlantic is an iconic American magazine that is greatly concerned with forward thinking. For many years the Atlantic Media Company and The Atlantic, along with the Aspen Institute, have annually gathered the nation's intellectual leaders to discuss the ideas and trends shaping American’s future as part of the Aspen ideas Festival and the Washington Ideas Forum. The Atlantic Meets the Pacific expands upon that tradition.
The ability to see into the future and act rapidly and boldly is Magaziner’s trademark. Speaking in March, 2011 to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) — which he founded — Magaziner recalled another presidential assignment that required great strategic vision. “President Clinton had asked me to head a cabinet level group in the U.S. government to help decide what steps he could take…to improve the U.S. economy…[W]e had decided was that there were three [recent] technologies…that could offer the potential for huge economic growth: The Internet, the sequencing of the human genome, and advances in renewable energy.”
The civic and corporate leaders who attend the event will witness innovation firsthand. The event includes behind-the-scenes tours at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego’s Calit2 digital media laboratory and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Attendees will spend a half-day at each of these sites. The aim of the event is to engage a national constituency of CEOs, philanthropists, civic officials and media leaders in some of the most exciting developments shaping America and the world, linking the strengths of the traditional achievements of the Atlantic Coast with the promising ideas and opportunities emerging from the Pacific Coast.
Magaziner’s broad vision continues to take him to new and unexpected places. At the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, he is the principal architect and manager of the Clinton HIV/AIDS initiative (CHAI). He also heads up the Climate Change Initiative (CCI), tasked with finding ways to cut costs for renewable and energy efficient technologies. In addition, echoing the current First Lady’s policy initiative, he spearheads the Childhood Obesity Initiative, which works with snack food and drink companies to deliver healthier meals to American schoolchildren in the U.S.
Magaziner has also co-authored two books: “Minding America’s Business” and “The Silent War, Inside the Global Business Battles Shaping America’s Future.”