Distinguished Alumni Award


Adaeze Enekwechi, 98BA, 07PhD

Recent Graduate Award 2019

A health care executive who served in the White House, Adaeze Enekwechi (98BA, 07PhD) is widely admired for tackling complex policy challenges and studying how the health system can work for everyone, particularly vulnerable populations.

From 2015 to the end of the Obama administration, Adaeze was the White House's associate director for health programs in the Office of Management and Budget, where she oversaw a health budget of more than $1 trillion. Holding what's been described as the government's most important health post, Adaeze was a key policy advisor to President Obama and worked with Congress and the executive branch to implement the federal budget.

Although she was less than a decade removed from earning her doctorate from the UI College of Public Health, Adaeze was well-equipped for the high-profile position. She began her career as an analyst at the Congressional Budget Office after completing her master's degree in public policy at another institution. She returned to the University of Iowa to obtain her doctoral degree and went on to work at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, after which she became the associate director for innovation and new product development at Joint Commission Resources in Illinois.

"Adaeze worked in the White House with integrity and calm in an intense and sometimes difficult environment."

Adaeze then became a senior researcher for Health Research and Educational Trust, a Chicago-based arm of the American Hospital Association. In 2010, she moved to Washington to work in health care policy. There, she was a senior analyst for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, the first senior program officer at the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and a managing consultant at the Lewin Group, where she led several payment policy evaluation and research projects for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Since leaving the White House, Adaeze has returned to the consulting world. She's currently president of IMPAQ International, a $100 million policy research and technology firm in the Washington, D.C., area that helps governments, businesses, foundations, nonprofits, and universities enhance their programs and policies. She also is a member of the National Academy of Medicine's Emerging Leaders in Health and Medicine group, and she serves on the Board of Public Health Institute and other advisory boards.

"Adaeze worked in the White House with integrity and calm in an intense and sometimes difficult environment," says Shaun Donovan, former director of the Office of Management and Budget. "I never saw her lose her cool despite enormous stakes, and her intelligence and knowledge always made a difference."


About Distinguished Alumni Awards

Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.


Related Content

Entrepreneur and philanthropist John Pappajohn shares his path to becoming one of the world's top art collectors.

The UI?s newly archived papers from broadcast journalism legend Tom Brokaw provide a window into a half-century of world events.

With the start of a new year upon us, it's time to look back at your favorite University of Iowa stories from 2018. Here are Iowa Magazine's top 10 most-read articles of the year: The Nomadic Life (spring 2018) Hawkeye football favorite Paki O'Meara (10BA) finds ultimate freedom in backpacking around the world, taking photos that inspire a sense of wonder. PHOTO COURTESY PAKI O'MEARA Kinnick at 100 (summer 2018) This past summer marked two historically significant dates for Hawkeye fans: the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nile Kinnick (40BA), and the 75th anniversary of his tragic death. In memory of Iowa's favorite son, scholar, and Ironman, we look back on his life and legacy. Ahead of the Game (spring 2018) The Iowa football team becomes the first in the nation to equip the majority of its players with a state-of-the-art new helmet designed to improve player safety. PHOTO: MARK STASTNY Hollywood U (fall 2018) Alumni success in TV and film shines the spotlight on Iowa's? flourishing screenwriting program. ILLUSTRATION: FABIEN GILBERT / ARTISTIQUE INTERNATIONAL Mountain Roots (spring 2018) Nearly 80 years ago, an unlikely UI mountain-climbing club emerged from the cornfields of Iowa to become one of the most active in the world. Now the next generation of outdoorsmen continue in their Hawkeye family's footsteps. PHOTO COURTESY EBERT FAMILY The Secrets of Sleep (fall 2018) UI doctors and researchers work to shine light on the third of our lives we spend in the dark. Illustration: John Emigh Fry's Dream Team (fall 2018) FRYFest honors Hayden Fry's legendary 1983 coaching tree. PHOTO: UI ATHLETICS Going the Distance (spring 2018) UI-trained dentist Deb Carneol (92DDS) completes seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. PHOTO: MARK CONLON/WORLDMARATHONCHALLENGE.COM At 105, Our Oldest Hawkeye? (spring 2018) Catherine Shaw Shors (35BSC), who earned her business degree from Iowa more than eight decades ago, celebrated a milestone birthday in May. 1936 HAWKEYE YEARBOOK A Heroic Homecoming (spring 2018) Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo (92BA) receives a superhero's welcome at his alma mater. PHOTOS: Justin Torner

The Iowa Women's Leadership Network exists to engage, enrich & inspire lifelong growth and community.

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Statement unless you have disabled them in your browser.