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  • America's Health Care Revolution: Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Pays?
  • Radical Surgery: What's Next for America's Health Care
  • Governing America: An Insider's Report


Healthcare | Politics


Joseph A. Califano, Jr. has extensive experience in the field of healthcare delivery and cost containment. He is the founding chairman of the board and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (NCASA), an independent non-profit research center in New York City, founded in 1992. A frequent consultant and lecturer about America's healthcare system, Joseph Califano is an adjunct professor of public health at Columbia University's Medical School and School of Public Health and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Joseph Califano is the author of numerous political and healthcare books.

A Harvard law graduate, Joseph Califano served as a high-commanding officer in the army, first as special assistant to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1964 and special assistant to the Secretary of the Army, before being appointed General Counsel of the Army. He acted as executive secretary of the President's Advisory Committee on Supersonic Transport, as the DOD's representative on the President's Committee on the Economic Impact of Defense and Disarmament, and as a member of the Federal Radiation Council. In recognition of his work, Joseph Califano was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the highest civilian award of the Army.

Inspired by the Catholic Workers' movement, Joseph Califano joined the Kennedy administration and worked to reorganize the Pentagon with civilians. Appointed special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, he served as his top domestic aide, developing the President's legislative program and helping coordinate economic policies. Joseph Califano worked on a variety of domestic problems, including labor-management relations, balance of payments, healthcare, education, environmental and urban issues.

Under Cyrus Vance and Robert McNamara, Mr. Califano was legal counsel to the Army, and personal assistant to McNamara while he was Secretary of Defense. Joseph Califano was legal counsel to the Washington Post during the Watergate investigation and was involved in both President Nixon's resignation and that of Vice President Agnew. His private clients have included many of the most important companies in the country.

In January 1977, Joseph Califano was appointed Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare by newly elected president Jimmy Carter. He put the department through the most complete reorganization in its 25-year history, mounting major health promotion and disease prevention programs, including childhood immunization, an anti-smoking campaign, an alcoholism initiative, and issuance of the first Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. He also began the collection of hundreds of millions of dollars of defaulted student loans, instituted computerized techniques to police welfare, Medicare and Medicaid programs, and worked with Congress to restore the financial integrity of the Social Security system, contain health care costs, restructure Federal aid to elementary, secondary and higher education, and provide equal opportunity to the handicapped and the aged.

He was senior partner of the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Dewey Ballantine from 1983 to 1992. He is the founding chairman of the board of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and serves on the advisory council of the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Council on Foreign Relations. Joseph Califano joined the Board of Midway Games Inc. in 2004, and is a director of Viacom Inc., ADP, INC., and Willis Group Holdings, Ltd.

BOOKS    Search For A Book

  • Inside: A Public and Private Life
  • The Triumph and Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson: The White House Years
  • Governing America: An Insider's Report from the White House and the Cabinet
  • America's Health Care Revolution: Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Pays?
  • A Presidential Nation
  • Student Revolution: A Global Confrontation

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