(LOUISVILLE, KY – July 18, 2016) —The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Board of Directors unanimously selected Ben Chandler as the new president and CEO of the Foundation, effective in September. Chandler is currently the Executive Director of the Kentucky Humanities Council but is most notably recognized for his work as Kentucky U.S. Congressman from the 6th Congressional District from 2004-2013. In addition, Chandler served as Kentucky’s State Auditor from 1991-1993 and Attorney General from 1995-2003.
Chandler will succeed Susan Zepeda, Ph.D., who has led the Foundation since 2005.
“Ben’s past experiences as a bipartisan leader in championing health policies through collaboration and effective consensus-building will serve the Foundation well as we continue to address the unmet healthcare needs of Kentuckians,” said Chris Roszman, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, who also chaired the CEO search committee. “He succeeds Susan Zepeda, who has led the Foundation for more than a decade, advancing policy and systems changes to help reduce health risks and health disparities while promoting health equity for the citizens of the commonwealth.”
Noted Chandler, “Having fought so hard for a healthier Kentucky during my time as Attorney General, I am beyond thrilled to be invited to build on the good work of Susan Zepeda and her team and to lead the Foundation to even greater impact. The health challenges in our state are very real, but so is the commitment to a healthier future for all our citizens.”
Chandler and a group of concerned citizens were instrumental in creating the Foundation through a charitable trust established as a result of the Blue Cross Blue Shield – Anthem merger in 2000. “Sixteen years ago Ben had a vision. To welcome him to continue that vision today is very exciting,” said search committee member Robert Slaton, who chairs the Foundation’s Community Advisory Committee.
In addition to Roszman and Slaton, the search committee consisted of seven other civic, business and health leaders from across the state, all current or former members of either the Foundation's Board of Directors or its Community Advisory Committee. In an extensive, six-month process, the search embraced a broad array of potential contenders from across the commonwealth and from 21 other states and the District of Columbia.
Chandler will be formally introduced to the public at the Foundation’s annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum, to be held on Sept. 19 in Lexington.
The search committee was advised throughout the process by BoardWalk Consulting, an executive search firm specializing in service to foundations and nonprofits.
About Ben Chandler
Ben is an eighth-generation Woodford Countian from Kentucky. He earned both his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Kentucky. He studied at the University of London and Trinity College in Dublin, including an internship in the British Parliament. Ben practiced law with Brown, Todd & Heyburn, specializing in health care law, and later with Reeves & Graddy before beginning a career in public service.
In addition to helping to create the Foundation, Ben was instrumental in creating KASPER, a national model for battling prescription drug abuse. Other notable accomplishments include the creation of Kentucky’s first “No Call” list and the passage of “Megan’s Law.” Ben currently serves as a member of the Kentucky State Board of Elections, and he serves on the boards of Optometry Cares, a national nonprofit supporting eye health and vision care, and Bluegrass Mental Health.
Ben is an avid reader and baseball fan. He has traveled widely, having visited more than 65 countries and all seven continents. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Woodford County, where they raised their three children on the family farm. They attend Pisgah Presbyterian Church, where Ben serves as trustee.
About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested over $26 million in health policy research, advocacy and pilot project grants across the Commonwealth. Funded by an endowment, the mission of the Foundation is to address the unmet health care needs of Kentuckians by informing and influencing health policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Follow the Foundation on Twitter and on Facebook, or visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth