David Pugach was placed as the senior vice president of public policy at the American Osteopathic Association in Chicago. The AOA serves as the professional home for more than 129,000 osteopathic physicians and medical students in the U.S., and is the primary certifying body for all osteopathic physicians and the accrediting agency for all osteopathic medical schools, promoting public health, encouraging scientific research, and helping to ensure quality, cost-effective care for underserved patients. In his role, David implements public policy strategy and directives on behalf of the AOA Board of Trustees and House of Delegates, developing the strategic direction of the public policy, government affairs, and grassroots advocacy functions, fashioning and executing a policy agenda in support of the osteopathic profession, building advocacy capacity and engagement, and developing effective policy partnerships with external organizations.
Prior to his recruitment to the AOA, David spent nine years at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society; there, he progressed from assistant director to vice president of federal relations. In this capacity, David served as the executive director of One Voice Against Cancer, a coalition of 50 patient and professional organizations, collaborating with the policy staff of those organizations to develop a comprehensive strategy and a united message. He also represented ACS CAN on the executive committees and boards of several coalitions that focused on medical research and patient care. David had the opportunity to work on a broad legislative agenda, developing comprehensive campaign strategies in areas including appropriations and Affordable Care Act patient protections.
Previously, David spent seven years with the National Institutes of Health, which he first joined as a Presidential Management Fellow after completing law school. Throughout his early tenure with the NIH, David worked in the general counsel's office, in multiple sub-specialty institutes, and in congressional affairs. He then spent one year as an NIH detailee on the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Appropriations before becoming the deputy director of the Office of Government and Congressional Relations for the NIH's National Cancer Institute.
David is originally from New Jersey. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from The George Washington University and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University School of Law, and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association. David and his wife are the parents of two young children; outside of work, in addition to spending time with his family, David enjoys playing basketball and cooking.
QLK's Steve Derks led the search to recruit David to the AOA, where his duties began on November 13, 2017.