About Richard Kirsch
Richard Kirsch is an Institute Fellow at the Nelson Rockefeller Institute of Government and a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. From 2008 to 2010 he was National Campaign Manager for Health Care for America Now (HCAN). HCAN is an 1,100 member coalition, led by major progressive organizations, that deployed staff in 44 states and spent $47 million to organize for comprehensive health care reform. As HCAN's chief spokesperson, Kirsch appeared on PBS's The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, ABC's World News Tonight and Good Morning America, the Fox News Network, C-SPAN and The Colbert Report, and was frequently quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other national newspapers, as well as NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace.
From 1985 to 2008, Kirsch served as executive director of Citizen Action of New York, a grassroots citizens' organization with 20,000 members and seven offices in New York. Kirsch also served as executive director of the Public Policy and Education Fund of New York, a research and educational foundation affiliated with Citizen Action.
Kirsch is the author of several studies on health care reform covering such subjects as consumer advocacy, the financing of universal health care, health and health system global budgeting, and risk management. He has published op-ed pieces on health care, tax policy, telecommunications, energy policy and election reform. Kirsch is also the author of several reports on the financing of election campaigns in New York.
Kirsch has received awards for his consumer advocacy work. He was honored with the Progressive Leadership Award by USAction and the New York Progressive Leadership Award by Citizen Action of New York, both in 2010. In 2001, Families USA named him Health Care Consumer Advocate of the Year. He received the New York Statewide Senior Action Council Human Services Advocacy Award in June 1995 for "his vision, boldness and relentless dedication in pursuit of health care for all."
Kirsch received a bachelor's degree with honors from Brown University in 1974 and a master's in business administration from the University of Chicago in 1980. He previously worked for USAction affiliates, serving as the financial director of what is now Citizen Action of Illinois and as a founding co-director of New Jersey Citizen Action. His first public advocacy job was with Ralph Nader's Public Citizen.
He sits on the boards of USAction and the Public Campaign Action Fund.