Waxman Strategies is strengthening its firmwide capabilities in political advocacy, regulatory insight, and industry expertise with the appointment of Ruth McDonald to the position of Vice President within the company’s health policy team. Waxman Strategies also welcomes health research specialist Kahaari Kenyatta to the practice, adding additional support in generating transformative change across the health care and pharmaceutical sectors. The Waxman Health Practice is known for guiding critical policy developments that improve access to care and reduce prescription drug and health care costs. Top policymakers and stakeholders frequently rely upon the Waxman health policy team to bring nuanced and forward-thinking counsel.
“Ruth’s background in crafting federal policy solutions to the nation’s most pressing public health and health care issues will serve as an invaluable resource for clients seeking to improve patient outcomes and our health care system,” said Jeremy Sharp, Managing Director of Waxman’s health policy practice. “Kahaari’s background in health equity, medical innovation, and understanding social determinants of health will undoubtedly contribute to the long-lasting vision we hope to achieve in the health care space – namely improving access to care in underserved communities and lowering prohibitive drug costs.”
Ruth McDonald brings extensive legislative and communications expertise from her experience serving within the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as from her work on corporate, non-profit, foundation, and political campaigns. Prior to joining Waxman Strategies, Ruth advised businesses, advocacy organizations, and trade associations as a consultant at Avalere Health, helping clients navigate or create changes to the political and regulatory landscape. Prior to Avalere, Ruth was a civil servant in the Office of Health Policy at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). She also served nearly seven years as a staff member in the U.S. House to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05) and Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05) during the enactment and early implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She started her career working on health care campaigns at the public relations firm GMMB. In her role as Vice President, Ruth will work to advance key policy priorities surrounding public health and preparedness, affordability, drug pricing reform, and maternal health. Ruth earned an M.P.H. in health management and policy and an M.P.P. degree from the University of Michigan. She received her B.A. in the history of science and medicine from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Kahaari Kenyatta is a health policy specialist with experience researching high-profile players in the health care industry, utilizing data to dissect existing regulatory problems, and identifying strategies to address challenges across the public health ecosystem. Before coming to Waxman Strategies, Kahaari worked as an analyst at Ipsos Healthcare in D.C., where he managed large market research projects for top global biopharmaceutical firms. Prior, Kahaari engaged in several community health research projects for nonprofit and academic centers, including on grants funded by the New York State Health Foundation, working in New York City and Philadelphia. Kahaari earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Health and Societies with a concentration in Public Health.
“As our health practice continues to expand, our team’s unmatched policy expertise and leadership on pivotal public health issues will propel our mission-driven work forward in Washington and beyond,” said Michael Waxman, CEO of Waxman Strategies.