This morning in an email to staff, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Acting Director Dr. Sharon Arnold announced that Mr. Gopal Khanna is joining the agency today as its new director.

As expressed in Dr. Arnold’s email, “Mr. Khanna has a wealth of public-sector experience in federal and state governments and specializes in data-driven strategies to improve organizational performance.”

Mr. Khanna comes to AHRQ from Illinois, where he directed the state’s Data Analytics Healthcare and Human Services Innovation Incubator. In his capacity, he led a cross-functional team to build a secure data pool, pulling from Illinois’s HHS agencies and other government entities “to provide a 360-degree view of each person and family who receives state services to provide efficient program management, strategic policymaking, and customer-centric services delivery.” He was also Minnesota’s first chief information officer and served the second Bush administration in senior policy positions, including chief information officer and chief financial officer for the Peace Corps and chief financial officer of the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Administration.

AcademyHealth looks forward to working with Mr. Khanna, who – through his work in Illinois, Minnesota, and beyond – has demonstrated his commitment to the critical role of using data and evidence to improve health and health care. AHRQ continues to be our nation’s bridge between research and practice – leading us to a safer, more accessible and higher-quality health care system and better health care for all Americans. We stand ready to assist Mr. Khanna as he continues this important mission and as he works to bring forth the best evidence in health services research at AHRQ.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Khanna to this new role!