Thursday, July 12, 2012

Endowment for Health Hires Steven Rowe as its Next President

Concord, NH – A national search has successfully concluded in the selection of Steven Rowe as the Endowment for Health president, succeeding James W. Squires, M.D., who retired from the health foundation last year.

Rowe, a former Maine attorney general and state legislator, is a well-respected policy leader who also has a proven track record of working with others to bring about far-reaching social change on behalf of vulnerable populations. 

“Steve is an accomplished leader and manager who is uniformly admired by everyone who knows him, regardless of political philosophy or party affiliation,” said Endowment for Health Board Chairman Cordell Johnston.  “His relationships span the public, private and nonprofit sectors.  Steve also demonstrates a valuable ability to bring disparate groups together to find areas of consensus,” said Johnston.

“I am honored and excited to accept the position of Endowment for Health president,” said Rowe.  “I’m looking forward to hearing more from the Endowment’s Board, Advisory Council and staff, as well as the community in general, about key issues affecting the health and future of New Hampshire’s people.  I am truly impressed with and attracted to the mission and work of the Endowment, and its focus on vulnerable and underserved populations.  To achieve high-quality health outcomes, we must continue to focus on the social and economic determinants of health."

Rowe’s accomplishments have been largely devoted to improving the health and well-being of the people he served in Maine.  As a legislative leader and attorney general, he was the driving force behind several noteworthy accomplishments, including:

  • ensuring that Maine’s national tobacco settlement funds were directed toward health and human service aims;
  • expanding health care coverage to uninsured children;
  • modernizing criminal stalking laws and increasing judicial powers to protect victims  of domestic violence;
  • leading a national group of state attorneys general to investigate and stop unfair pharmaceutical industry pricing practices; and
  • leading a national group of state attorneys general to force changes in the marketing practices of major alcohol companies to reduce youth access to alcohol.

Rowe’s personal dedication to social issues is further evident in his recent work to coordinate a group of Maine business leaders around investments in early childhood development initiatives, reflecting his strong belief that early childhood is a leverage point for improving health and other outcomes in later life and is crucial to ensuring a healthy workforce for businesses.

Rowe’s Professional Background

Rowe most recently served as counsel at the Portland-based law firm of Verrill Dana LLP.  Prior to that, Rowe served as Maine Attorney General from 2001- 2009.  Additionally, Rowe was Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives in 1999-2000.  His overall legislative career spanned from 1992 - 2000.

In addition to his public service career, Rowe has held a variety of legal and financial management positions with private sector companies, including UNUM Corporation and Fairchild Semiconductor.

Rowe also served as an officer in the United States Army and in the Army Reserve.  He holds a J. D. from the University of Maine School of Law; an M.B.A. from the University of Utah Graduate School of Business; and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The Endowment’s Leadership Transition

Mary Vallier-Kaplan continues to serve as interim president at the foundation until Rowe’s arrival.   Rowe and his family will relocate to New Hampshire in the near future and he will be at the Endowment fulltime in September. Kaplan will remain at the Endowment for Health for a limited timeframe, advising Rowe and assisting with the introduction to key community partners, as well as ensuring a smooth transition while program work progresses according to its customary schedule.  “The Endowment for Health is extremely fortunate to have Mary’s ongoing expertise and leadership.  She has done an outstanding job as interim president and her future advice and counsel will be instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition,” said Johnston.