Daniel E. Dawes, Esq., is a healthcare attorney and the executive director of government affairs and health policy at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. A nationally recognized leader in healthcare law and policy, Daniel has led numerous efforts to address health issues impacting vulnerable, underserved and marginalized populations. Among his many achievements, he was an instrumental figure in shaping the Affordable Care Act and founded and chaired the largest advocacy group focused on developing comprehensive legislation to reform the health care system and address the disparities in health care and health status among vulnerable groups in the United States. This advocacy group of more than 300 national organizations and coalitions, the National Working Group on Health Disparities and Health Reform, worked to ensure passage of the landmark health reform law and include provisions to improve healthcare quality and delivery.
The author of several publications on health reform and health equity; he now adds to his repertoire a groundbreaking book, 150 Years of ObamaCare published by Johns Hopkins University Press, which has received critical acclaim and endorsements from Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, U.S. Secretaries of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Louis Sullivan, as well as Surgeons General David Satcher and Regina Benjamin. Highly respected for his ability to achieve sound policy changes in a nonpartisan manner; Daniel lectures on health law and policy while serving simultaneously on several boards, commissions and councils focused on health equity and health reform. He is an advisor to international, regional, state, and municipal policymakers as well as think tanks, foundations, corporations, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, he is the recipient of several national awards and recognitions for his role in helping to advance health equity nationwide and is the co-founder of the national Health Equity Leadership & Exchange Network (HELEN), which focuses on bolstering leadership and the exchange of ideas and information relative to the advancement of evidence-based healthcare-related legislation, regulations, policies, and programs.
Daniel has served as 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, he worked on the United States 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, social justice, and disability law and policy.
During his tenure on the Senate HELP Committee Daniel was also a key figure in drafting provisions in several healthcare-related bills, which were enacted into law during the George W. 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 Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust under the leadership of Congresswoman Donna M. Christensen on legislative efforts related to health disparities, disability, and emergency preparedness/bioterrorism.
Daniel is an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves on several boards, commissions, and councils focused on improving health outcomes, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, the National League of Cities National Advisory Board, the National Urban League’s Advisory Panel, The White House National HIV/AIDS Strategy Committee, the Better Medicare Alliance’s Council of Scholars, the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved National Advisory Board, and the Children’s Mental Health Network Advisory Council. He is the recipient of several national awards and recognition, including the 2016 NMQF Minority Health Leader Award, the 2016 Distinguished Speaker Series Lecture at Nova Southeastern University, the 2013 Distinguished Bowman Lecturer at the University of Chicago, the 2012 Distinguished Bellos Lecturer at Yale University, the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership in Advocacy Award, the CBC Health Braintrust 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 Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and psychology from Nova Southeastern University and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.