Dr. James H. Cavanaugh was named to the Nixon Foundation board of directors last week. A successful businessman and influential expert on health care policy, Cavanaugh was a key adviser to Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan. He is now a managing director of Health Care Ventures, LLC in Princeton, New Jersey, the largest venture capital fund focused specifically on health care.
Nixon Foundation Chairman Ron Walker announced Cavanaugh’s election to the board Friday.

“James Cavanaugh brings intellect, energy and dedication to the legacy of Richard Nixon,” Walker said. “”He has served on many important boards, and we look forward to his contributions and guidance.”

In 1966, Cavanaugh began his public service career in the Office of Health, Education and Welfare, serving as Director of the Comprehensive Planning Office at the U.S. Public Health Service, Assistant to the Surgeon General and as Assistant Secretary for Health and Science Affairs.

In 1970, he went on to serve as the White House Domestic Council’s point man on health care policy, rising to become Associate Director of Human Resources.

After his career in government, Cavanaugh became President of Allergan Pharmaceuticals and then President of SmithKline Beckman’s Bio-Science and French Laboratories-U.S.

Cavanaugh holds a B.S. from Fairleigh Dickinson College and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa.

Photo: Former Domestic Council Associate Director James Cavanaugh discusses President Nixon’s health policy initiatives at the first Richard Nixon Legacy Forum on January 8, 2010.