George Halvorson was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to chair the First 5 California Children and Families Commission in May 2013. He also is the chair and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding. In this role, Halvorson is focused on putting processes, teaching materials, and learning programs and approaches in place to help people deal with issues of racism, discrimination, intergroup anger, and intergroup conflict. He currently is authoring three new books that will serve as the core teaching curriculum for the Institute.
Prior to taking on his new roles focusing on children and intergroup conflict, Halvorson served for more than 11 years as the chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, retiring from that position at the end of 2013. Prior to his tenure at Kaiser, he was the president and CEO for Health Partners in Minnesota, serving in that position for 17 years.
Earlier in his career, Halvorson started health plans in Uganda and Jamaica, and helped start health plans in Chile, Spain, and Nigeria - most of which continue to operate. He has advised governments in Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Russia on health care issues and has been featured as an educator for national health ministries at the European Union Health Summit in Brussels.
Halvorson has authored eight health care-related books, including Strong Medicine; Epidemic of Care; Building Health Co-ops in Uganda; and Ending Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Disparities in Health Care. Additionally, he has served on more than 30 boards and commissions, and has chaired more than a dozen - including the American Association of Health Plans; the International Federation of Health Plans; the Partners for Quality Care Board; the Health Governors for the World Economic Forum in Davros, Switzerland; and the Health Plans Committee for the Board of the American Diabetes Association.He and his wife, Lorie, have five sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. While they reside in the San Francisco area, they continue to have strong ties in Minnesota.