The Aspen Institute Names Tanya Harris New Executive Director of the Health Innovators Fellowship

December 15, 2021

Seasoned Health Care Executive to Lead Aspen Institute’s Growing Community of Healthcare Leaders

Contact: Jon Purves
Associate Director, Media Relations
The Aspen Institute 


Washington, DC December 15, 2021 – The Aspen Institute announced today that Tanya Harris will join the Institute as the new Executive Director of the Aspen Health Innovators Fellowship. In this role, Harris will continue to develop a growing community of over 100 energized, values-driven healthcare leaders – all members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network –  committed to finding viable solutions to confront U.S. health care’s problems.

“Tanya has dedicated her career to improving health care for our most vulnerable populations and has a long track record of leadership, community engagement, and building effective cross-sector partnership,” said David Langstaff, Executive Vice President of the Leadership Division at the Aspen Institute. “We are excited for her to build on the success of the Health Innovators Fellowship and deepen the impact this community of diverse leaders can have together.”

Tanya has over 25 years experience expanding access to health care, translating government regulations, and influencing Federal and state program development. She joins the Institute from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, where she advised C-suite leaders across the country on health policy, including the creation and implementation of a national strategy regarding health plan engagement and contracting. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the organization’s efforts to shift as many services as possible to telehealth. Prior to that, she was the Associate Director for the Office of Managed Care in the District of Columbia responsible for Medicaid managed care plans serving 150,000 District residents through $500 million in contracts. She also served as Chief of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program for the District of Columbia, overseeing the city’s $14 million program providing COBRA, Medicare Part D subsidies, and free medication to people living with HIV/AIDS. Tanya began her career working as a case manager with communities of color living with HIV in central Brooklyn and the South Bronx at the height of the AIDS pandemic in the United States. 

“Having been on the forefront of expanding access to healthcare to those that most need it, I know the most transformative solutions must come from leaders across the healthcare sector working together,” said Harris. “I am thrilled at the opportunity to find and support leaders working on those solutions at the Aspen Institute.” 

Tanya earned her B.A. from New York University with a focus on Caribbean literature and her graduate degree in health policy from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. 


About the Aspen Institute and the Health Innovators Fellowship

The Health Innovators Fellowship’s mission is to develop a community of energized, values-driven leaders committed to finding viable solutions to confront U.S. health care’s problems. Grounded in the Aspen Institute method of text-based dialogue and leveraging the Institute’s commitment to values-based, purpose-driven leadership, the Fellowship offers high-performing professionals the ability to connect with and learn from a diverse group of peers while refining their own values and charting a course that empowers them to take action in new ways to improve health and health care in America. Fellows come from a wide variety of industries and sectors, ranging from medicine to venture capital to public health and beyond. The Health Innovators Fellowship is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. For more information, visit  

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit


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