Rosalie Liccardo Pacula Named Inaugural Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law

Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, a nationally recognized expert in the economics of substance use and addiction, including opioids, cannabis, and alcohol, was named as the inaugural Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and the Price School of Public Policy.

Pacula joins USC from RAND, where she directed the BING Center for Health Economics and served as co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.

The Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics, and Law is endowed through a $3 million gift from Leonard and Pamela Schaeffer to honor the late USC Provost. The first woman to serve as provost of USC and the first woman president of Cornell University, Garrett was a dynamic leader who left an enduring legacy at USC.

“Elizabeth Garrett’s commitment to excellence while provost at USC was inspiring to both her colleagues and students,” said Leonard D. Schaeffer. “Installing Professor Pacula, a renowned researcher, to the Garrett Chair is an excellent way to honor Elizabeth and to continue the impactful work of the Schaeffer Center in addressing our nation’s most pressing health challenges.” Schaeffer holds the Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and is a professor at USC. He was elected to the USC Board of Trustees in 2013.

As USC Provost, Garrett championed the development of new research initiatives across the University, successfully recruited world-renowned faculty, especially in the convergent and medical sciences, quantitative social sciences, and humanities, and expanded the graduate programs. Before joining USC as a law professor in 2003, Garrett taught at the University of Chicago Law School, where she also served as deputy dean for academic affairs.

“Professor Pacula is a tremendous addition to the Price School and the Schaeffer Center,” said USC Price School of Public Policy Dean Jack Knott. “We are grateful to Pamela and Leonard Schaeffer for establishing the Garrett Chair. Endowed chairs enable us to recruit the best and brightest faculty with the potential to make an enduring impact on health policy.”

Over the past two decades, Pacula’s research has focused on illicit drug markets (for example, medical and recreational marijuana)—measuring the size of the market, impact on behavior of suppliers and consumers, and the effectiveness of policy interventions at targeting behavior within these markets. In recent years, Pacula’s work has shifted to evaluating the impact of recent opioid policies in the US. She has explored the influence of buprenorphine diffusion, OxyContin reformulation, insurance expansion, medical marijuana and naloxone distribution laws on opioid related harm.

“The Schaeffer Center strives to bring evidence-based research to bear on the health policy challenges facing our nation,” said Dana P. Goldman. “Professor Pacula’s work sheds new insights on an aspect of the opioid epidemic that is often overlooked.” Goldman is a distinguished professor at USC and holds the Leonard D. Schaeffer Director’s Chair at the Schaeffer Center.

Pacula is currently the President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, a scholarly society committed to advancing data, methods, and findings relevant for improving drug policy approaches globally.  She has been a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) since 1997, serves on the editorial board of several journals, and is a scientific reviewer for the National Institutes of Health’s Health Services Organization and Delivery committee. She has been extensively quoted in media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, KPCC, Vox, and STAT. She received her PhD in economics from Duke University.

“The Schaeffer Center and the Price School are amazing communities of scholars, experts, and practitioners who are conducting impactful research on the most pressing issues in healthcare and public policy,” said Pacula. “I am thrilled to be joining such a vibrant, dynamic group committed to putting important research to practice.”

This gift establishing the Garrett Chair builds on a legacy of philanthropy by Leonard and Pamela Schaeffer, whose lifetime support of USC totals nearly $50 million.

Schaeffer was the founding chairman and CEO of WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurance company, and a recognized expert in health policy and health economics. He served in the federal government as Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (now known as CMS) and assistant secretary for management and budget at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.