Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Ezekiel J. Emanuel is Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, Professor of Health Care Management, and Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. With appointments in the Wharton School and the Perelman School of Medicine, where he chairs of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Emanuel works at the intersection of bioethics, health policy, health care management, and political philosophy.

Medical Ethics + Health Care Management

zeke emanuel

As an influential scholar and policy expert, Ezekiel Emanuel works nimbly across disciplines and continents on globally significant issues. A breast oncologist by training, his accomplishments range from revolutionizing end-of-life care to redefining medical ethics in clinical research to crafting systemic change in health care policy, which culminated in the landmark Affordable Care Act.

At Penn, Emanuel’s leadership guides the unparalleled vision of global understanding, engagement and impact. He strategically marshals a portfolio of global programs and infrastructure to elevate Penn’s stature as a global agenda setter. On campus, he shepherded the design of Perry World House, which engages faculty and students from all 12 schools as well as eminent international scholars and policymakers. Off campus, Emanuel is spearheading Penn’s global reach with hubs in China, East Asia, India and Africa.

Emanuel is known for his foresight, audaciousness and breakthrough contributions to research, policies and practices. In 1989 he created the Medical Directive, a comprehensive living will, which earned endorsements from Consumer Reports on HealthHarvard Health Letter, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. At the time, about 75 percent of Americans with cancer died in hospitals; thanks to palliative care, that statistic has plummeted to less than 25 percent. In 2007, Emanuel edited the first comprehensive and systematic textbook on clinical research ethics, still a definitive work with a notable global perspective. He also advised both the Clinton and Obama administrations on health care reform, and helped conceptualize President Obama’s Global Health Initiative that focuses on the health of women and children.

  • Accountable care organizations
  • Allied health professions
  • Behavioral economics/behavioral change
  • Disease prevention/health promotion
  • Disparities and health equity
  • Education
  • Episode-based (bundled) payments
  • Global health
  • Medication adherence
  • Foreign insurance systems
  • Organization and health care delivery
  • Patient-centered medical homes
  • Private insurance/exchanges
  • Risk communication
  • Social media and health


Prescription for the Future: The Twelve Transformational Practices of Highly Effective Medical Organizations2017

Reinventing American Health Care, 2014

Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family, 2013

Global Justice and Bioethics, 2012 (with Joseph Millum)

The Oxford Textbook of Research Ethics, 2011 (with Christine C. Grady, Robert A. Crouch, and Reidar K. Lie)

Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America, 2008

Academic Writings (Selected)

"Reassessing the Data on Whether a Physician Shortage Exists," JAMA Viewpoint, March 20, 2017 (with Emiy Gudbranson and Aaron Glickman)

"Conflicts of Interest for Patient-Advocacy Organizations," New England Journal of Medicine, March 2, 2017 (with Matthew McCoy, Michael Carniol, Katherine Chockley, John W. Urwin, and Harald Schmidt)

"Quantifying the Risks of Non-oncology Phase I Research in Healthy Volunteers," The BMJ, June 26, 2015 (with Gabriella Bedarida, Kristy Macci, Nicole Gabler, Annette Rid, and David Wendler)

"Can the United Stes Buy Better Advance Care Planning?Annals of Internal Medicine, December 9, 2014 (with Scott Halpern)

"Why Should High Income Countries Help Combat Ebola?" Journal of the American Medical Association, September 11, 2014 (with Annette Rid)

"Ethical Considerations of Experimental Interventions in the Ebola Outbreak," The Lancet, August 22, 2014 (with Annette Rid)

"Going to the Moon in Health Care: Medicine's Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)," The Journal of the American Medical Association, November 13, 2013

"A Historic Moment for Open Science: The Yale University Open Data Access Project and Medtronic," The Annals of Internal Medicine, June 18, 2013

"Reconsidering the Declaration of Helsinki," The Lancet, May 4, 2013

For a full list of books + academic writings, visit Zeke's personal page

Popular Writing (Selected)

The New York Times

"Is It Better to Die in America or England?" January 19, 2016 (with Justin Bekelman)

"Don't Repeal the Cadillac Tax," The Opinion Pages, October 2, 2015 (with Bob Kocher)

"Should We Charge Patients for Medical Research?The Opinion Pages, July 31, 2015 (with Steven Joffe)

"How to Solve the ER Problem," The Opinion Pages, May 6, 2015

"Skip Your Annual Physical," The Opinion Pages, January 8, 2015

"Finally, Some Optimism About Obesity," The Opinion Pages, May 4, 2014 (with A. Steinmetz)

"In Health Care, Choice is Overrated," The Opinion Pages, March 5, 2014

"Comparing Obamacare to Its Alternative," The Opinion Pages, January 28, 2014

"Sex and the Single Senior," The Sunday Review, January 18, 2014

"No, There Won't Be a Doctor Shortage," The Opinion Pages, December 4, 2013

"Alzheimer's Anxiety," The Sunday Review, November 16, 2013

For a complete list, visit Zeke's Page at The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal

"The Coming Shock in Health-Care Cost Increases," July 7, 2015 (with Topher Spiro)

"The Falso Hysteria Over 'Part-Time Nation',"October 13, 2013

"Those Hospital Rankings Could Use A Healthy Dose of Skepticism," July 24, 2013

"Health-Care Exchanges Will need the Young Invincibles," May 6, 2013

The Atlantic

Why I Hope to Die at 75," September 17, 2014

"The Real Value of Online Education," August 13, 2014 (with B. Alcorn, and G.Christensen)

The Washington Post

"The GOP’s Hypocrisy is Damaging Our Health-care System," The Opinion Pages, May 5, 2017

"Cutting Essential Benefits Doesn’t Save Costs — It Just Shifts Them to Families," The Opinion Pages, March 24, 2017


Interviews & Features (Selected)

"Medicare's Drug Payment Proposal Puts Patients First," Huffington Post, May 2, 2016 (with Maura Calsyn)

"Why a Constitutional Originalist Would Reject the GOP’s Delay, Delay, Delay Tactics," The Washington Post, February 16, 2016

"Holding Drug Companies Accountable for Drug Prices,Huffington Post, January 20, 2016

"Why Is Healthcare So Expensive?Only Human, WNYC Radio, December 29, 2015

"The Obamacare Non-issue," All in with Chris Hayes, MSNBC News, August 18, 2015

"The Pros and Cons of an Annual Physical," The Diane Rheim Show, NPR, April 7, 2015

"Does your physician have to prescribe antibiotics for every sore throat?Fortune, March 10, 2015

"Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on Ebola: 'Panic Is Something We Can't Afford'," NBC News, October 14, 2014

"If ObamaCare Stays, Employer Based Insurance Will Go," Fox News, August 29, 2014

​"Hobby Lobby Ruling Much More Than Abortion," CNN.com, July 2, 2014

"Although 'Not A Perfect Law,' ACA is Protecting Patients," The Washington Post, April 28, 2014

"Ezekiel Emanuel Further Explains His Prediction That Employers Will Drop Health Insurance," The New York Times, April 7, 2014

"10 Questions: The Healthcare Debate with Zeke Emanuel," NBC News, April 5, 2014

"Why Employers Will Stop Offering Health Insurance," The New York Times, March 26, 2014

"In Book, Architect of Health Law Predicts a Shift Away From Employer Coverage," The New York Times, March 20, 2014

"Why a Complex, Unjust, Expensive, Error-Prone System Might End Up Providing The Best Health Care," The Washington Post, March 18, 2014

"Ezekiel Emanuel | Interview," Time Out, Chicago, March 20, 2013

"Ezekiel Emanuel on 'Reinventing American Health Care," Knowledge at Wharton, March 11, 2014

"Brothers Emanuel: What Did Rahm, Zeke, and Ari's Mother Put In The Breakfast Cereal?" Huffington Post, April 10, 2013

"'Brothers Emanuel' Tells How To Raise Kids To Be Overachievers," Chicago Magazine, March 22, 2013

"Q+A with Ezekiel 'Zeke' Emanuel," Penn Current, February 16, 2012

"The 'Lower-Profile, Higher-Educated Emanuel' Brother Comes to Penn," Penn Gazette, December 2011

"Cooking with Zeke Emanuel," Politico Click, October 26, 2010


Videos (Selected)

"US Not Doing Well on Childhood Vaccinations,CNBC, February 5, 2015

"Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on new CDC guidelines: 'Why it took so long is a mystery,'" TODAY, October 18, 2014

"What Obamacare Is Getting Right," MSNBC's Morning Joe, March 4, 2014

"Separating Health Care Fact from Fiction," MSNBC's NOW with Alex Wagner, February 7, 2014

"Time is Not on Obama's Side," MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, October 23, 2013

Visit Emanuel's personal site for a complete list.

Diane v.S. Levy & Robert M. Levy

“Diane and I chose to make this gift because we believe that education is critical to addressing major world issues, and the complexity of these issues requires the kind of interdisciplinary research and teaching that the PIK professors have come to signify. We are thrilled to help bring yet another exceptionally effective scholar to Wharton and to Penn.”

-Robert M. Levy

zeke professorship, levys

Robert Levy, WG'74 and his wife, Diane, endowed the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy University Professorship in 2010. Robert Levy is a member of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and is former Vice Chair of the Wharton Board of Overseers. Diane v.S. Levy is a member of the Board of Overseers at the Penn Museum.


Ezekiel J. Emanuel was named the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Professor in April 2011.

  • B.S., Amherst College (Chemistry)
  • M.Sc., Oxford University (Biochemistry)
  • M.D., Harvard Medical School (Oncology)
  • Ph.D., Harvard University (Political Philosophy)

View CV

Administrative Post
  • Penn Global, vice provost
University Service
  • ​Medical Ethics and Health Policy, department chair
  • Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, senior fellow
Professional Positions & Associations
  • Institute of Medicine, elected member
  • Center for American Progress, senior fellow
Additional Penn Profiles

Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives
122 College Hall 
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3319
215.898.7226 (O)

Perelman School of Medicine
3401 Market Street ,Suite 320
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.898.7136 (O)