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The Team

Lee Fleisher, M.D., M.L.

Founder & Managing Principal 


Lee A. Fleisher, M.D., M.L. is an Emeritus Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Council and Visiting Fellow of the Duke- Margolis Center for Health Policy, Senior Advisor for FasterCures at the Milken Institute and co-chair of the Safety Committee and a member of the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Health AI (CHAI), and a member of the Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC) to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC). He was the former Chief Medical Officer and Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2020-2023. Dr. Fleisher is a distinguished national healthcare

leader with experience as a director, clinician, scientist, educator, and regulator. His expertise spans direct patient care, healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence in healthcare, interoperability and FHIR applications for quality measurement and clinical data, clinical operations across the continuum of care including hospital care at home, federal healthcare programs, and regulatory oversight of healthcare and pandemic responsiveness/public health. He advises and teaches on the development of novel ideas and technologies to drive quality and value in the Penn Masters in Healthcare Innovation.


In his CMS role, Dr. Fleisher was responsible for executing all national clinical, quality, and safety standards for healthcare facilities and providers, as well as establishing coverage determinations for items and services that improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries. He oversaw a budget of $1.7 billion and 850 individuals. He was a member of the CMS thought leadership team transitioning the healthcare ecosystem toward value and equity by utilizing novel quality measurement, payment strategies and care paradigms including aligning quality measures across CMS and developing the National Quality Strategy and the first universal foundation for quality measurement. He was a member of the CMS/HHS executive team developing pandemic response including the COVID response, MPOX response and planning for future pandemic responses. He also has experience advising the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, pharmaceutical and device companies and international health systems on the assessing of quality, outcomes, and cost- effectiveness of care. At CMS, he oversaw the decision regarding monoclonal antibodies for Alzheimer’s.


Dr. Fleisher has received numerous honors including being elected to membership of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007 and serves on multiple Committees including the Board on Health Care Services. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from SUNY in 2011. He received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. He is listed as a 2023 Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives.


Dr. Fleisher received his medical degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. He completed his residency in Anesthesiology at Yale University and was on the medical faculty at Yale and Johns Hopkins. From 2004 through July 2020, he was the Robert D. Dripps Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he oversaw the delivery of anesthesia care, critical care, and pain management. He continues to provide anesthesia at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania approximately once per week. He is an Affiliated Faculty of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice and pursuing a Masters in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School with expected completion in May 2024.


As a seasoned professional in the healthcare and policy landscape, Matthew currently serves as the Director of Rubrum Advising, where he has been critical in steering the firm’s strategic initiatives since June 2023. In this role, Matthew leverages his expertise in healthcare regulation, particularly related to CMS, ONC, FDA, and broad federal agency authority, to serve his clients. Matthew has his Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and his J.D. and health law certificate from Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.


Prior to co-founding Rubrum, Matthew was an Associate at Leavitt Partners, where he managed a number of healthcare alliances spanning the Medicare and Medicaid landscape and healthcare more broadly. While at Leavitt Partners, Matthew advised on issues relating to Medicare and Medicaid enrollment and regulation, quality measurement, healthcare data interoperability, and value-based payment and reimbursement modalities. Matthew came to Leavitt Partners following years of legal work in the healthcare space particularly related to healthcare legal ethics and patient advocacy. 


Prior to his time at Leavitt, Matthew was a graduate fellow at the CMS STARS program where he supported the Medicaid quality policy team in identifying quality measures for the Medicaid and CHIP Quality Rating System. Matthew also provided research and other support to CMCS as they ensured that the quality measures were representative of the Medicaid population at large. 


Matthew brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Rubrum Advising, driving positive change and contributing to the advancement of healthcare initiatives.

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Matthew Fleisher, J.D., M.P.H.

Founder and Managing Director

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Nancy Stade, J.D.



Nancy Stade spent seventeen years as the United States Food and Drug Administration, where she held positions as the Deputy Director for Policy at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, counsellor in the Office of the Commissioner, and senior attorney in the Office of the Chief Counsel. During her time with the FDA, she led the development and implementation of FDA’s device regulatory policy for novel technologies such as digital health products, mobile medical apps, direct-to-consumer genetic tests, laboratory developed tests, combination products, and general wellness products, as well as policies for pre-submissions, the 510(k) program, and de novo review. 


More recently, Nancy has been a partner in the FDA practices of Sidley Austin and Foley Hoag and has run her FDA own consulting practice. As a private attorney and consultant, Nancy has represented a wide range of manufacturers of medical devices and consumer health products. She has counseled major health clinics, private equity firms, laboratories, traditional medical device manufacturers, makers of consumer electronic and digital health products, and start-up developers of innovative AI-based devices. 


Nancy received multiple awards during her FDA tenure, including the Award of Merit and the Commissioner’s Award for Distinguished Service, and was elected to the Senior Executive Service. She has received recognition for her pro bono service, including the Vincent F. Prada award for pro bono service. She received her A.B. from Columbia College and her J.D. from the Columbia School of Law, where she was an editor of the law review. 


Kurt Herzer, M.D., Ph.D. most recently led data and analytics for the clinical and quality division of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this capacity, Dr. Herzer was responsible for setting the vision and strategy related to enterprise-wide use of data and analytics for the agency’s mission of improving quality of care for 150 million Americans. This included modernizing technology and data infrastructure as well as developing new platforms and applications for advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence across the world’s largest collections of healthcare data. 


Prior to CMS, Dr. Herzer held senior leadership roles at Oscar Health, a health technology company and national health plan, including as its head of Population Health. At Oscar, Dr. Herzer built and led a team dedicated to working at the intersection of technology, data and analytics, and patient care and whose portfolio included innovative approaches to acute care, chronic disease, medication management, virtual care, and value-based insurance design.


Dr. Herzer’s professional experience spans academia and the public and private sectors, including Johns Hopkins Medicine, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has lived and worked abroad in both London and Geneva addressing international healthcare policy issues, with his research supporting global interventions to improve healthcare quality and reduce childhood mortality and morbidity. Dr. Herzer’s expertise spans product/industrial design, health economics and health services research, the application of technology in complex sociotechnical organizations, and leading transdisciplinary creative teams of designers, engineers, data scientists, and clinicians.


Dr. Herzer has written widely on medicine, healthcare quality, and disability advocacy in leading medical journals, including JAMA, BMJ, and The Lancet. He has served as a Board Member for the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries, and the Coalition for Disability Access in Health Science and Medical Education at UCSF, and a member of the selection committee for the President of Johns Hopkins University. In 2010, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed Dr. Herzer to a federal Advisory Commission for postsecondary education. 


His academic background is in health policy and health services/economics research, where he studies healthcare spending and quality, funded by the National Institutes of Health as well as private foundations. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work, research, and public service, including being named a Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, a Marshall Scholar by the British Government, a National Quality Scholar by the American College of Medical Quality, the Mary P. Oenslager National Achievement Award by Learning Ally, a Graduate Scholar by the Golden Key International Society, and John T. McCraw Scholar by the National Federation of the Blind. 


Dr. Herzer received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins, and also earned an M.Sc. in social policy and intervention as a Marshall Scholar at the University of Oxford. He graduated summa cum laude from Johns Hopkins where he studied public health.

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Kurt Herzer, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.


Neha Prasad, Ph.D.

Senior Manager


Before joining Rubrum Advising, Dr. Neha Prasad served as an ORISE fellow at the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), supporting the Antimicrobials Branch and the Division of Research, Innovation, and Ventures (DRIVe). During her tenure, she has presented analyses and developed tools that informed funding decisions. Her analytical skills, strategic mindset, and collaborative spirit were crucial at BARDA, which operates through public-private partnerships and non-dilutive funding mechanisms to promote medical countermeasure development. During her fellowship with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Dr. Prasad was involved with due diligence for equity investments around phage therapies and genetic technologies. She led the development of investment theses and collaborated on portfolio prioritization strategy for clinical-stage assets. While on the Business Development team at Felix Biotechnology, a phage technology start-up, Dr. Prasad conducted market evaluations and revenue projections towards new product ideation, pursued B2B partnership opportunities, and supported Series A financing activities. Her entrepreneurial drive and creativity were critical to identifying new markets for phage products spanning infectious disease to consumer goods. 

As a former antibacterial discovery scientist, Dr. Prasad was inspired to venture into life sciences business strategy after witnessing the collapse of the antibiotic commercial market. After earning a Chemistry major from Washington University in St. Louis, she pursued a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry & Chemical Biology from University of California, San Francisco as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Moritz-Heyman Discovery Fellow. She shared her doctoral research, pertaining to bacterial CRISPRi screens in mouse infection models, with a wide range of audiences, including at an international Gordon Research Conference for New Antibacterial Discovery & Development and the UCSF 3-Minute Thesis competition. She also published a widely-read failure analysis of antibiotic development between 2010-2020, which initiated the construction of her proprietary database of antibacterial candidates.


Eleanor is a dedicated and driven analytical thinker who brings an in-depth knowledge of public health systems. Eleanor recently worked in the Health Research and Training Program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the Office of Health Insurance Services, where she worked on projects striving to increase access to care for children with disabilities.


A natural leader, Eleanor spearheaded market needs assessments, conducted rigorous health outcome data analyses, and implemented program performance improvement measures. She holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. 

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Eleanor Wolfe, M.P.H.

Senior Associate

Aubrey Kazimi, M.P.H.

Chief of Staff


Aubrey brings a multidisciplinary background in public health, psychosocial care, and the arts inspiring a passion to promote access to innovative and evidence-based care. Having pursued her academic goals in tandem with a professional ballet career, she holds a BA in psychology with high honors from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she earned a certificate in pediatric psychosocial care from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and most recently was awarded an MPH from George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. 


She has experience serving patients in a variety of settings, including at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and conducting research with the Jerwood Centre for the Prevention and Treatment of Dance Injuries. Her research has been selected for presentation and publication and she is a member of Psi Chi and Delta Omega honor societies. In 2022, she attended Goucher College’s pre-medical post-baccalaureate program and is currently applying to medical school. 


Brian D. Cortese is an incoming resident physician in the Department of Urology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he earned his Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from The Wharton School, where he majored in Health Care Management and graduated at the top of his class as a Palmer Scholar. While at Rubrum Advising, Brian has worked with numerous clients spanning a wide range of industries and functions including developing a market access strategy for a musculoskeletal device company, orchestrating payor-facing cost-effectiveness analyses for a neurological device company and analyzing the impact of health policy initiatives on accreditation organizations. 


Prior to Rubrum Advising, Brian worked as a Summer Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) out of the Philadelphia office. While at BCG, he gained invaluable experience providing analytical support and optimizing patient-facing operations for a large, multinational pharmaceutical client. Prior to his time at BCG, he worked at the Gordon Center for Medical Imaging associated with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital pursuing translational medicine research at the intersection of immunology and radiology. 


On the academic side, Brian’s clinical and health policy interest has led to several first-author publications in journals such as the Journal of Urology, Urology Practice Journal, and Journal of Clinical Oncology. His recent academic work has focused on analyzing the impact of public-private partnerships on Medicare Part D spending, the Inflation Reduction Act on patient out-of-pocket costs, and telemedicine on access disparities for oncology patients. Further, he had the opportunity to work on identifying and updating low-value service measures that led to an official memo sent to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). 


Brian brings a distinctive background that weds foundational clinical knowledge, a strong business intuition, and an analytical skillset that prepares him well to contribute to the ever-changing healthcare policy landscape. 

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Brian Cortese M.D., M.B.A.


Michael Karamardian



Michael is an MD/MBA candidate at the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania who brings a diverse set of analytical and strategic experiences. Prior to graduate school, Michael worked as an Associate Consultant at Bain & Co., where the majority of his efforts were within their healthcare practice. Since coming to Penn, he has engaged in multiple projects with Penn's Center for Health Care Transformation and Innovation, driving improvements to care delivery in the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Recently, Michael has led an academic research project taking a deep-dive into Private Equity's impact on healthcare. Following graduation from the MD/MBA program in Spring 2025, his goal is to begin a medical residency in Internal Medicine. Beyond clinical training, Michael plans to pursue a career blending clinical practice with roles at the intersection of healthcare delivery, technology, and therapeutic innovation. 

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