Robert Graham, M.D.

Director of the Aligning Forces for Quality Program

Dr. Graham currently serves as the Director of the Aligning Forces for Quality Program (AF4Q). AF4Q is one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s major initiatives to improve the quality, efficiency and equity of the U.S. health care system. There are presently 16 sites throughout the United States participating in the project. The National Program Office for AF4Q is based at George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he is also a Research Professor in the Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health & Health Services.

Dr. Graham has long been associated with the discipline of Family Medicine, having served as the Executive Vice President/CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians, (AAFP) (1985-2000), the head of the Academy’s Foundation (1988-1997), and the Administrative Officer of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) (1973-1975). He remains an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Cincinnati where he held the Robert & Myfanwy Smith Endowed Chair from 2005 to 2011.

In addition to his activities in Family Medicine, Dr. Graham has held a number of leadership responsibilities in the Federal Health Sector, including the position of Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) (1981-1985), during which time he held the rank of Rear Admiral in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service, and served as an Assistant Surgeon General. He also served in senior positions at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2001-2004), the Health Resources Administration (1976-1979), and the Health Services and Mental Health Administration (1970-1973). From 1979-1980, he served as a Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Sub-committee on Health.

Throughout his career Dr. Graham has written and spoken extensively about a number of critical topics in health policy, such as health care reform and the need for universal coverage, federal health workforce policy, and the organizational characteristics of effective health systems. Dr. Graham’s contributions and expertise in health policy have been recognized by his election to the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (1990), and his selection as Board Chair of the bipartisan Alliance for Health Reform (2007). His current areas of interest are leadership development, organizational change, and improving the effectiveness of the U.S. health care system.