Our Team

For far too long, people have suffered stigmatization and daily pain from this disease. Together, we can modernize sickle cell disease treatment and help people live better lives.

Dr. Brett Giroir
Senior Advisor, Sickle Cell Disease Partnership

The Sickle Cell Disease Partnership welcomes inquiries from stakeholders, prospective members, the news media, and others. The Partnership is managed by Leavitt Partners.

Brett Giroir Headshot

Dr. Brett Giroir

Senior Advisor to the Sickle Cell Disease Partnership

Brett Giroir, M.D. is a physician scientist and innovator whose career has been dedicated to improving public health and medicine. He is a pediatric critical care specialist by training and a physician-scientist who has served in a number of leadership positions in the federal government, as well as in academia.

Formerly, Dr. Giroir served as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and as an admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. In that role, he led development of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations and oversaw several of the Department’s core public health offices, including the Office of the Surgeon General. His office led many critical national initiatives, including an historic new plan to end the HIV Epidemic in America, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the revised Common Rule, and a cross-agency effort to improve outcomes for patients living with sickle cell disease. Dr. Giroir also served as Senior Adviser to the Secretary for Opioid Policy, responsible for coordinating HHS’s efforts across the Administration to fight America’s opioid crisis. He also served as Acting FDA Commissioner.

Dr. Giroir has been a patient advocate and leader in the Sickle Cell Disease space for many years now. He did his medical training in Dallas, Texas, where there was a large population of people with Sickle Cell Disease. At the time, there was not universal screening for sickle cell, and he diagnosed many cases of sickle cell in children that had not been diagnosed at birth. Sickle Cell caused children to wither away in front of him, and he became personally involved as he and his wife mentored children with Sickle Cell Disease. During his time at HHS, Dr. Giroir advocated for a unified approach across government agencies to providing high-quality, comprehensive care for Sickle Cell Disease patients. Dr. Giroir’s work and advocacy in the Administration helped spur government action, including in 2020, the National Institutes of Health providing $20 million in funding for the Cure Sickle Disease Initiative. Since his departure from the Administration, Dr. Giroir continues to advocate for Sickle Cell Disease patients in his role within the Sickle Cell Disease Partnership.

Dr. Giroir has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific publications, editorials, and book chapters. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, the American Heart Association’s President Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award, and the American Society of Nephrology’s President’s Medal. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology magna cum laude from Harvard University, and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Clay Alspach

Advisor to the Sickle Cell Disease Partnership

Clay Alspach is a principal based in Washington, D.C.  Clay specializes in health care policy and advocacy related to the Food and Drug Administration, health information technology, Medicare Parts B, C, and D, Medicaid, private health insurance, and the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to joining Leavitt Partners, Clay served as Chief Health Counsel for Chairman Fred Upton of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.  During seven years with the committee, he managed, provided strategic direction, and served as the principal representative for the committee on all of its health care-related work. Clay spearheaded legislative initiatives that successfully reformed the SGR (MACRA), reauthorized FDA user fees (FDASIA), and established a national system for drug supply chain security (Drug Quality and Security Act). Clay also led the committee’s legislative accomplishments on biopreparedness and security, public and private medical research, controlled substance and DEA matters, and several other public health initiatives. Most recently, Clay led the committee’s work on the 21 st  Century Cures Act.

Prior to this service for the committee, Clay clerked for the Honorable Ronald L. Buckwalter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and worked as a litigator in private law practice. He also worked as a legislative clerk at the committee from 1999 to 2000 under Chairman Thomas J. Bliley (R-VA).

Clay received his bachelors of arts cum laude from the University of Richmond and holds a juris doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

Josh Trent

Advisor to the Sickle Cell Disease Partnership

Josh Trent is a principal based in Leavitt Partners’ Washington, D.C. office.  Josh has more than a decade and a half of experience in the federal government—from the White House, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House on Capitol Hill.

In his role at Leavitt Partners, Josh develops and manages multi-sector alliances and advises clients throughout the health care sector on federal health care policy and strategy. He specializes in public insurance under Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, commercial health insurance, the 340B program, and the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to joining Leavitt Partners, Josh served as Chief Health Counsel for Chairman Greg Walden of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives. In that role, Josh was the lead House staffer for the landmark legislation to combat the opioid crisis, The SUPPORT Act (P.L. 115-271).  He also led the House’s work to reauthorize The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, which was eventually enacted the following year (P.L. 116-22).

Josh previously served under both Walden and Chairman Fred Upton as Deputy Chief Health Counsel.  In this role, he played a key part in crafting the Medicaid, Medicare, and state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provisions in the House’s Bipartisan Budget Act (P.L. 115-123), and he led the House’s work to enact the longest extension of the CHIP in the history of the program (P.L. 115-120). Previously, as Professional Staff under Chairman Upton, Josh assisted in the development and passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (P.L. 114-198) and the sweeping law to advance the discovery, development, and delivery of cures and treatments, The 21 st  Century Cures Act (P.L.114-255). Prior to working in the House, Josh served for five years as Health Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).  In that role, Josh was involved in the legislative process leading to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.

Before coming to Capitol Hill, Josh spent six years in the administration of President George W. Bush, including three years as an executive recruiter in the Office of Presidential Personnel at the White House helping identify and recruit individuals for senior Administration roles. He also spent a year and a half as deputy director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Josh received his bachelor of arts from Union University and received his master’s degree in international politics from the University of Bath in Bath, England.

Elizabeth Hassett

Advisor to the Sickle Cell Disease Partnership

Elizabeth Hassett is an Associate at Leavitt Partners, based in Washington, D.C. In this role, Elizabeth supports client and alliance work by providing research and strategy on health policy issue areas related to health insurance coverage, access to treatments, drug development and pricing, and social determinants of health.

Before joining Leavitt Partners, Elizabeth was a Law Clerk at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Provider Reimbursement Review Board, where she focused on Medicare Part A reimbursement regulation and appeals. She additionally served as a Law Clerk at the Maryland Office of the Attorney General for the Maryland Department of Health, where she was assigned a range of regulatory issues for health care entities. Preceding these positions, she interned at Marshall University’s School of Medicine, where she worked on child health, COVID-19, and opioid initiatives. Finally, she interned in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Compliance Office, where she worked on Medicaid sanctioning rules and regulations.

Elizabeth received both her MPH in Health Policy and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently completing her law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law, where she is specializing in health law and policy.

Jerome Murray

Advisor to the Sickle Cell Disease Partnership

Jerome Murray has 20 years of government experience serving in senior-level positions for four Members of Congress. Working on Capitol Hill and in the private sector, Jerome has gained hands-on experience in the legislative process coupled with a deep knowledge of policy issues crossing many industry sectors.

On the Hill, Jerome served as chief of staff to Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D USVI). He was legislative director for Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) who serves as Chief Deputy Whip.  During his time with Rep. Butterfield and Rep. Plaskett, Jerome worked closely with Members and staff of the Congressional Black Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition.  In the private sector, Jerome was director for policy and government relations at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and served as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Corporate Advisory Council.  Jerome received a bachelor’s degree from Boston University’s College of Communication, and a Master of Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.