Ralph G. Neas to Step Down as President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care

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September 7, 2011

CONTACT:Lindsay Harnish

Ralph G. Neas to Step Down as President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), the oldest and most broadly representative non-partisan alliance working for health system change, announced the resignation of its President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph G. Neas. Neas will become President and CEO of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) on September 12th.

“I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to work with this extraordinary bipartisan alliance and its diverse member organizations. I am excited to continue my work on behalf of more sustainable, less costly health care by helping lead GPhA in its advocacy for high-quality, safe and affordable medicine for everyone,” said Neas.

Throughout Neas’ tenure, NCHC advocated for comprehensive, bipartisan reforms which lower costs, improve quality, and extend access across America’s health system. Neas guided the Coalition through the contentious health reform debate in 2009 and 2010 and the first stages of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

Then, in 2011, Neas and the National Coalition on Health Care convened the Cost Containment Alliance which seeks to achieve system-wide cost containment while protecting vulnerable populations.

“In the coming months and years, GPhA and I look forward to working closely with NCHC and the Cost Containment Alliance toward the goal we all share: a sustainable, affordable health system.”

Neas was named CEO of NCHC in February 2009, having previously led People for the American Way and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). In early 2010, the NCHC Board of Directors asked him to become the Coalition’s President and CEO.

“Ralph brought to the Coalition a remarkable capacity to work with policy and opinion leaders across the political spectrum. His leadership has helped the Coalition make an impact during an extraordinary time for our country,” said John McArthur, Chairman of NCHC’s Board of Directors and Dean Emeritus of the Harvard Business School.

“Ralph’s incredible energy, decades of experience, relationships, and strategic thinking have been enormous assets to the Coalition in the past few years. As he moves on to the next challenge in what will continue to be a distinguished career of service and advocacy, we wish him the best of luck.” said former Congressman Robert Edgar (D-PA),  a member of the Coalition’s Board of Directors and the President/CEO of Common Cause.

Neas began his public service career as Chief Legislative Assistant to Republican U.S. Senators Edward W. Brooke (1973-1979) and David Durenberger (1979-1980).

From 1981 through 1995, Neas served as Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). At LCCR, he directed two dozen successful national campaigns that strengthened every major civil rights law. Landmark laws enacted, with huge bipartisan majorities and often with the support of the business community, included the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, the 1988 Fair Housing Act Amendments, and the 1982 Voting Rights Act Extension. 

Senator Edward Kennedy called Neas the “101st Senator for Civil Rights”, in a 1995 Senate floor statement.

From 1999-2007, as President and CEO of People For the American Way (PFAW) and People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF), Neas and PFAW fought to preserve a fair and independent judiciary, public education, and civil rights and civil liberties. PFAWF launched new leadership development and civic engagement programs, including Young People For, the Young Elected Officials Network, Democracia-USA and the nationally recognized Election Protection program. 

Neas is the author of over forty published articles, op-eds, and commentaries in national media outlets. He has been profiled multiple times in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Other media entities that have profiled Ralph include: USA Today, Congressional Quarterly, St. Paul Pioneer Press, The New Republic, the Washington Star, the Legal Times, the Associated Press, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and The Baltimore Sun. Ralph has also been featured in a number of books including: The Second Civil War (Ronald Brownstein), Giant Killers (Michael Pertschuk), The Battle for Justice (Ethan Bronner), and the The People Rising (Michael Pertschuk).


The NCHC Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) not for profit organization devoted to public education, and advocacy to secure stable affordable health care for America. The National Coalition on Health Care, the oldest and most diverse alliance of groups committed to securing and sustaining health care system reform, is a 501(c)(3) organization. Some members of the National Coalition Health Care (NCHC) do not, or cannot, take positions either on specific legislation, strategies or on any policies outside their respective mission areas. Not every member of NCHC has a position on or supports every position of the NCHC Action Fund. However, all that can, do endorse broad policy positions do support comprehensive health system reform. Both organizations are located at 1120 G Street, NW, Suite 810, Washington, DC 20005. Phone: (202) 638-7151.


application/pdf iconNeas Press Release 9_6_2011.pdf

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