Ferguson Joins NSI
Christine Ferguson has joined National Strategies as a senior adviser on health care, but she is also keeping her other day job as a professor at George Washington University. At GW, Ferguson teaches health policy and researches obesity, children's health, and state health care policy. “What I tell all of my students is that health care is the one issue that cuts across every facet of your life, birth to death. Every single business, regardless of whether it's in health care or not, has to understand [it],” she says.
Ferguson, 50, has plenty of experience working on health care policy at the state level. She served as Massachusetts' public health commissioner under then-Gov. Mitt Romney, and she was Rhode Island's Human Services secretary in then-Gov. Lincoln Almond's administration. Earlier in her career, she spent 14 years dealing with Senate Finance Committee issues for the late Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I. Chafee was part of a bipartisan group of senators that tried to fashion a compromise over President Clinton's failed health care reform proposal in 1994, and Ferguson was Chafee's lead staffer during the negotiations.
Ferguson, a native of Jamestown, R.I., received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. In 1981, during another tough recession, she decided that Washington was a good place to find work. “I thought that this was the only place that somebody who could talk and write could find a job,” Ferguson says. “I went down to D.C. with $500 in my pocket, [and] lived in a room in somebody’s house until I could find a job.” Despite having no connections, she landed a gig in Chafee’s Capitol Hill office writing “dear friend” letters to constituents. She later earned a law degree by taking night classes at American University.
For relaxation, Ferguson frequently goes sailing with her family in the Ocean State.
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Posted on Sun, November 29, 2009
by Gregg Sangillo