David Cowling is the Chief of the Center for Innovation (CFI) at CalPERS and came to CalPERS with the formation of CFI in 2012. CFI is a small think tank of 10 researchers within CalPERS with an overarching goal to find, develop, pilot and evaluate new ways to make retirement and health benefits sustainable for CalPERS members. CalPERS contracts for health benefits for 1.3 million enrollees and manages $264 billion in assets to meet its pension obligations.
David currently is leading a multi-agency team to evaluate the introduction of a price transparency tool to CalPERS members, coordinating a research project on integrated health management, evaluating the impact of health plan characteristics on member health plan selection, and on the steering committee for a state employee worksite wellness campaign.
David previously was the Chief of the Evaluation and Knowledge Management Section of the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP), where he lead studies on the impact of the smoke-free workplace law on bar and restaurant revenue, developed new methods for the evaluation of the anti-tobacco media campaign, and the evaluation California’s in-school tobacco use prevention education program. He has over 20 peer reviewed publications in journals such as Health Economics, Tobacco Control, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, and Statistics in Medicine. David obtained a Ph.D. in Epidemiology in 1999 and a M.S. in Statistics in 1994 from the University of California, Davis.