Caroline Pearson is the Executive Director at the Peterson Center on Healthcare.
She enjoys tackling some of the most complex issues in healthcare and brings this passion to the Center’s mission to create a high performing health system that lowers spending and improves outcomes.
Caroline is a nationally-recognized healthcare expert, with a focus on state and federal health policy, public and private insurance, prescription drugs, and aging issues. She has two decades of experience working in consulting and research to help industry leaders and policymakers solve the healthcare industry’s biggest challenges.
She was previously the Senior Vice President for Healthcare Strategy at NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan research organization. In this role she launched a new department of subject matter experts who deliver actionable research and analysis to health plans, providers, biotech companies, patient groups, and foundations.
Prior to her work at NORC, Caroline was an executive at consulting firm Avalere Health. As the Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy, she oversaw teams focused on policy, strategic communications, and financial services. She also built a new portfolio of syndicated information and data products and led the firm’s public relations strategy by producing novel analysis to inform the public policy debate.
Caroline's work has focused on passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and policy changes to address prescription drug access and prices. Her 2019 article, “The Forgotten Middle,” was the 5th most read Health Affairs article of that year, highlighting the growing number of middle-income seniors with unmet health and housing needs. In 2009, Caroline drafted a Bipartisan Policy Center report, led by Tom Daschle and Bob Dole, which advanced a comprehensive health reform proposal in advance of the Congressional debate over the ACA. She is regularly quoted in national and trade press and is a frequent presenter to audiences seeking to understand the health policy landscape.
Caroline sits on the board of directors for a non-profit, provider-sponsored health plan in Ohio. She is a fellow at Nexus Insights, a think tank advancing the well-being of older adults through innovative models of housing and healthcare. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and she is a Science Commercialization Advisor for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. She is also a founding member of Chief, a women’s executive leadership network. Caroline previously served as a senior advisor to Sandbox Industries, which is responsible for managing the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Fund. She is a Division I NCAA Champion in rowing and was inducted into the Harvard Varsity Club Hall of Fame in 2020.
Caroline graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government.