Joy Higa

Senior Vice President, National Regulatory Affairs for UnitedHealthcare, CalSTRS Board Member

Joy Higa is the Senior Vice President, National Regulatory Affairs for UnitedHealthcare, the country’s largest health insurer, where she leads federal and state regulatory issues management, advocacy and shared services functions to support the company’s commercial and government business.

She has held several leadership roles at UnitedHealthcare since joining the company in 2006, including leading the health care reform (ACA) implementation team, where she managed regulatory policy development and implementation of operational and technology changes for the commercial business.

Since her appointment by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014, Joy has also served as a Board Member of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the country’s largest teacher retirement fund.

Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare in 2006, Joy spent seven years in leadership roles in California state government. She served previously as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy to State Controller Steve Westly, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary to Governor Gray Davis, and Deputy Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care. Before her tenure in public service, Joy advocated on behalf of health care providers and health plans in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Joy graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts degree concentrating in health and public policy. She serves on the Cornell University Council Administrative Board and is a Sustaining Member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women.

Originally born and raised in Hawaii, Joy lives in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband, Chris Tuffli, and two children.