Named three times to FORTUNE’s list of the most influential women leaders in business, Lois Quam has a powerful track record leading highly effective growth businesses. She has served as a senior leader in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, applying her strategic and operating experience to drive business revenue and earnings growth, and solve public policy challenges in
health care and the environment.
As founding CEO of Ovations, a division of the FORTUNE 50 global corporation UnitedHealth Group (UNH) dedicated to delivering health care and insurance benefits to seniors and public program beneficiaries, Quam and her team grew revenues to $32 billion in the span of eight years.
She led a workforce of over 25,000 people and had direct responsibility for strategy, financial and operational performance, and business risk management at Ovations, the predecessor to UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, which has now grown to serve 12 million seniors (one in five Medicare beneficiaries) and generates approximately $50 billion in revenues.
Quam was instrumental in AARP’s decision to award UnitedHealth the $4 billion health insurance program offered to AARP members, the largest transfer of an insurance offering in U.S. history; launching the company's operations in England; overseeing Medicare- and Medicaid-based businesses serving 10 million Americans; and leading the effort to enroll and serve millions of consumers in the Medicare pharmacy benefit in 2005, one of the largest new product start-ups in
During her 17-year career at UnitedHealth, the company’s revenues soared 17,000 percent and the stock price surged 400-fold. Quam has also been a pioneer in the public sector, serving in senior leadership positions in federal
and state government, and playing a key role in shaping, passing and implementing groundbreaking health care reform legislation in Minnesota, a state that has led in health care innovation.
She was chosen by President Obama to head his signature Global Health Initiative at the Department of State, which provided more than $8 billion dollars annually to help solve major health challenges facing millions of individuals across 80 countries. Reporting directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Quam advanced a comprehensive strategy to increase U.S. global health diplomacy, created a $200 million public private partnership, and introduce integrated systems approaches for global health problems, including maternal mortality. From 2014-16, she served as Chief Operating Officer at The Nature Conservancy, she was part of a three-person executive group that lead this global organization.
The Nature Conservancy spans 35 countries, has $600m in annual revenue and is one of the top three largest NGOs in the U.S. Quam is currently an associate on the faculty at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in the health policy and management division after serving as a senior health policy advisor
to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Quam has served on the boards of General Mills, Macalester College, the Committee for Economic Development, the George C. Marshall Foundation and the University of Minnesota Foundation. She currently serves as a director of The Commonwealth Fund, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, advisory council member of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and vice chair of The Performance Theater, which convenes CEOs
and thought leaders to address global business challenges.
She is also a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Advisory Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Quam is a frequent public speaker, has published widely and served on the Board of Editors for the British Medical Journal.
A Minnesotan native of Norwegian descent, she was named Norwegian American of the Year and is an advisor on Norway’s growing prominence in the global economy. A Rhodes Scholar, Quam has degrees from Oxford University and Macalester College.