Daniel E. Dawes is a healthcare attorney and the Executive Director of government relations, health policy, and external affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine. In addition to his executive role, Daniel is a director of health policy and a lecturer of health law and policy at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine. During the negotiations around health reform, he founded and chaired the National Working Group on Health Disparities and Health Reform, a working group of more than 300 national organizations and coalitions that worked to ensure that the health care reform law included health equity provisions to reduce disparities in health status and health care among vulnerable populations. In recognition of his efforts, he was one of 13 experts who were invited to serve on the Health Equity Leadership Commission, which provides guidance on implementing health reform to members of Congress, the Obama Administration, and officials at the Department of Health and Human Services. He is a frequent speaker and author of several publications on health reform and health equity.
Before joining Morehouse School of Medicine, Daniel was an Attorney & Manager of Federal Affairs and Grassroots Network for the Premier Healthcare Alliance, as well as Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer at the American Psychological Association (APA). Prior to working for the APA, Daniel worked on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee under the leadership of Senator Edward M. Kennedy where he advised the Senator and members of the committee on an array of issues related to health care, public health, employment, education, and disability law and policy. During his tenure on the Senate HELP Committee Daniel was also a key figure in drafting provisions in several health care-related bills, which were enacted into law during the Bush Administration, including the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Prior to his work with the Senate HELP Committee, Daniel received the prestigious Louis Stokes Health Policy Fellowship and worked for the CBC Health Braintrust under the leadership of Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen on legislative efforts related to health disparities, disability, and emergency preparedness/bioterrorism.
Daniel is highly respected for his capacity to achieve sound policy changes in a nonpartisan manner. He serves on several boards, commissions, and councils focused on health equity, including the Association of American Medical Colleges Advisory Board on Health Equity – the only attorney invited to serve on this panel. He is the recipient of several national awards and recognition, including the 2012 Distinguished Bellos Lecturer at Yale University, Congressional Black Caucus Leadership in Advocacy Award, the Congressional Staff Leadership Award, the Nebraska Alumni Association Early Achiever Award, the American Psychological Association Exceptional Leadership in Advocacy Award, and the SHIRE Health Reform Champion Award. Daniel holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Nebraska – College of Law and a Bachelor of Science in business administration and psychology.