Gary Cohen

Vice President of Government Affairs, Blue Shield of California

Portrait of Gary Cohen

Gary Cohen has held a variety of senior positions in the public and private sectors. Most recently, Mr. Cohen was vice president, enterprise regulatory strategy and policy at Kaiser Permanente. Previously, he owned his own consulting practice and served on the Blue Shield of California Board of Directors.

Mr. Cohen served in the Obama Administration from 2010-2014, most recently as director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, where he worked with senior Obama Administration officials, state insurance regulators, health plans, and other stakeholder groups to put into place the market-wide reforms required by the Affordable Care Act and to stand up the federal and state Marketplaces. Before joining the Administration, he was chief of staff to United States Representative John Garamendi (D-03).

Mr. Cohen previously served as general counsel to CoveredCA and to the California Department of Insurance, where he was responsible for a broad range of legal and policy matters. Among the issues he managed were two major health plan mergers, reform of the standard disability policy language permitted in the state, and settlement of bid-rigging allegations against major insurance brokers.

Mr. Cohen began his state service as general counsel of the California Public Utilities Commission, where he led the legal strategy in response to the state's energy crisis. Mr. Cohen has also worked as an attorney in the private sector as a partner at Keker Van Nest;  Sonnenschein, Nath, and Rosenthal (now Dentons LLP); and at Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.