Dr. Robert K. Ross, a Governing Public Official of the year in 1999, is president and chief executive officer of the California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. He is a member of the board of Covered California, the state health-benefit exchange created under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Prior to his appointment to head the California Endowment in September 2000, Ross served as director of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency from 1993 to 2000 and as commissioner of public health for the city of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993.

A diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ross received his undergraduate, master's in public administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. His background as a clinician and public-health administrator includes service as medical director for the LINK School-Based Clinic Program in Camden, N.J., instructor of clinical medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. In 2006, he was named by Capitol Weekly as one of California’s most influential civic leaders.