David Gortler and Rachel N. Morrison Join EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project

March 22, 2021

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is pleased to announce that David Gortler and Rachel N. Morrison have joined EPPC to serve on EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. This project is dedicated to monitoring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and holding it accountable to its mission of furthering the health and well-being of all Americans. It monitors HHS not only for waste and abuse, but for actions that threaten the civil rights of and quality of healthcare for all Americans.

David Gortler joins EPPC as a Fellow focusing on FDA oversight and drug safety. Previously he worked at the US Food and Drug Administration as a Senior Medical Analyst from 2007-2011, and as a Senior Advisor to the FDA commissioner from 2019-2021. During his time at the Agency, the FDA commissioner’s office supervised the Emergency Use Authorization of two mRNA vaccines against Covid-19, both in a record timeframe and in an extremely challenging environment. Dr. Gortler is a principled and resolute advocate of science-based decision making, as well as an advocate for federal healthcare oversight, which include finding market solutions to drug pricing and healthcare access for all Americans. In addition to his public service, Dr. Gortler has extensive academic experience, having served as a professor of pharmacology at Yale University and Georgetown University. He earned his Pharm.D. from the University of Arizona, did a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Yale University School of Medicine, and a clinical residency through the Columbia – New York Presbyterian hospital system. Read his full bio here.

Rachel N. Morrison joins EPPC as a policy analyst after serving as an Attorney Advisor and Special Assistant to General Counsel Sharon Fast Gustafson at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Morrison’s legal and policy work focuses on issues related to religious liberty, health care rights of conscience, the right to life, nondiscrimination, and civil rights. Her prior positions include Litigation Counsel at Americans United for Life, Constitutional Law Fellow at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and a judicial clerk on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Morrison holds a J.D. from the Pepperdine University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Speech Communication from Whitworth University. Read her full bio here.

“EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project is performing pathbreaking work thanks to the vision of its director, EPPC Senior Fellow Roger Severino. David and Rachel bring invaluable expertise in drug safety and civil liberties, respectively, which are crucially important given our current state of affairs. Their addition to EPPC ensures that we will be ready to respond to whatever comes from the Biden administration,” said EPPC President Ryan T. Anderson.

“My sincerest thanks to Ryan Anderson and Roger Severino for their votes of confidence in me,” said Dr. Gortler. “As someone who takes both science and ethics seriously, I’m honored to be joining EPPC and to be part of the HHS Accountability Project. I am excited to be part of a team that holds the federal government accountable for the choices it makes with all Americans’ healthcare tax dollars.”

“I am honored to join EEPC and its work applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to the critical public policy issues we face today,” said Ms. Morrison. “I am especially thankful to Ryan Anderson and Roger Severino for the opportunity to join EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project to help protect conscience, religious freedom, and the right to life for all in America.”

“David Gortler is a sharp asset to have on any team. While at the FDA, he identified ways to put the health of Americans first, following through on the President’s promise to lower drug pricing. He also sought measures to ensure that the manufacturing of safe and reliable medicines were available to all Americans. I was glad to know he was there,” said Matthew Buckham, former Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of Presidential Personnel.

“Rachel Morrison is an outstanding attorney with a wealth of knowledge about civil rights, nondiscrimination, and religious freedom issues. She consistently provided to me as EEOC General Counsel top notch analysis of complex legal issues and thoughtful, expert advice. Rachel brings to EPPC a careful attention to detail and a passion for her work,” said Sharon Fast Gustafson, former EEOC General Counsel.

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