Ben Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan who fixes broken institutions.
When announced as president of the 130-year-old Midland University in 2009, Ben was 37, making him one of the youngest chief executives in American higher education. At the time, Midland was on the verge of closing. Since then, Ben's hometown college has been Nebraska's fastest-growing school four years in a row.
Ben regards the six summers he spent walking beans and detasseling corn as core lessons in the value of hard work – and the toughest jobs he’s ever held. After Trinity Lutheran Elementary and Fremont High School, he was recruited to wrestle at Harvard, and then quarterbacked the football team at Oxford. He earned a Ph.D. at Yale, where his dissertation on American conservatism during the Cold War won both the Field Prize and the George Washington Egleston Award.
He began his business career with the Boston Consulting Group, and subsequently joined McKinsey and Company, advising leaders in times of crisis. He has helped turn around companies in industries ranging from airlines to manufacturers, and has challenged failed strategies in organizations from the FBI to the government of Iraq. An expert on healthcare delivery, he has spent much of the last decade advising hospital boards and healthcare providers on becoming more patient-focused.
Ben served as start-up chief of staff for Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, and was appointed to multiple posts by President George W. Bush. Most recently, he was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is unfortunately the federal government’s largest agency. In that role, he crusaded tirelessly against the false promises and fiscal unsustainability of entitlement spending.
One of the nation's leading critics of Obamacare, Ben speaks, writes, and appears regularly on television to advocate for repealing and replacing this failed 2,300-page law. His market-oriented solutions place patients and health providers at the center of a system that reduces health costs for families and taxpayers.
Now in his fifth year at the helm of Midland, Ben built an entrepreneurial culture at what is now Nebraska's fastest-growing college. Since his installation, Midland has created a four-year graduation guarantee, launched an MBA program, and added a performing arts initiative and eleven new varsity athletic teams. Midland is now rescuing the bankrupt Dana College, aiming to serve even more Nebraska kids and to revitalize the historic campus in Blair.
Ben and Melissa Sasse, married for 19 years, homeschool Elizabeth (12), Alexandra (10), and Breck (3) less than a mile from where Ben grew up. Their cause is to ensure that the America we leave our grandchildren is as free and as great as the America we were blessed to inherit from our grandparents.