George Halvorson

Chair and CEO, Institute for InterGroup Understanding

George Halvorson is a member of ReadyNation’s CEO Taskforce on Early Childhood. Currently, he is the Chair and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding. He has served for more than 30 years as CEO of six different health care delivery and financing organizations in the U.S., and he has helped start similar organizations in several other countries. Halvorson served most recently as Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO from 2002 – 2014, before retiring from CEO in July 2013, and Chairman in January 2014.

Currently Halvorson is Chair of the First 5 Commission for Children and Families for the State of California. In 2013, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Halvorson to a four-year term, and then reappointed him to another four years in 2017. The Commission uses roughly $500 million each year — raised from tobacco taxes — to provide support and education to children in California from birth to 5 years old. Halvorson currently serves as a member of the Right Start Commission for Children for the State of California.

Mr. Halvorson is the author of the book Three Key Years and the website He knows how important it is that children get a strong start in life. Three Key Years addresses early childhood issues in painful clarity, and identifies how the issues of early brain development affect parents, families, educators, community leaders, policy makers, caregivers, and most importantly — children. Halvorson has also written about early childhood development for The Huffington Post, and brain development in children.

Click here to listen to George talk about the simple ways that parents, communities, and child care settings can do to strengthen each child’s brain in the early key months and years by reading, talking, playing, and singing.

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By George Halvorson