Board of Directors

Helen Darling MA

Helen Darling MA, is interim president and CEO of the National Quality Forum (NQF). Her career has been focused on finding practical solutions to the nation’s continuing problems of high health care costs, affordability of care and uneven safety and quality.

Helen is the former president and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, a national nonprofit membership organization that promotes quality and affordability of health benefits and represents the large employer perspective on national health policy. She chaired the NQF Board of Directors for 4 years and currently serves on the board of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration. She also serves on the Committee on Performance Measurement of the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Medical Advisory Panel of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Center for Clinical Effectiveness, Advisory Boards for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. She was a founding member of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care.

Helen was the 2009 recipient of WorldatWork’s Keystone Award, its highest honor in recognition of sustained contributions to the field of human resources and benefits. She received the President’s Award from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2010. She was given a lifetime appointment in 2003 as a National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences for her work for the Institute of Medicine. For a number of years, including 2011-2013, she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Health Care by Modern Healthcare and One of the Top 25 Women in Health Care in 2011 and 2013. In 2012, she was given NCQA’s Health Quality Leader Award.

Previously, Helen directed the purchasing of health and disability benefits at Xerox Corporation for 55,000 U.S. employees and was a principal at William W. Mercer and practice leader at Watson Wyatt. Earlier in her career, she was an advisor to Senator David Durenberger on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. She also directed three studies at the Institute of Medicine.

She received a master’s degree in demography/sociology and a bachelor’s of science degree in History/English, cum laude, from the University of Memphis.