Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Aetna, Inc.


Jim Ricciuti currently serves as Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Policy at Aetna, Inc.

He was previously Vice President, Diversified Brands, in the Global Human Health Division of Merck, where he supported the marketing and sales of Merck’s established pharmaceutical products in markets around the world.  In nearly 20 years with Merck, Jim served in increasingly responsible positions in health care policy, marketing and commercial operations, and led company-wide strategic initiatives that required transformational changes to the culture and organization. Jim led Merck’s response to the original health care reform bill proposed by President Clinton, then transitioned to positions in marketing and branding of key products in the United States.

Jim was responsible for reforms of Merck’s commercial model, including a major change to distribution policy with wholesalers and pharmacy chains. Recently, he led a strategic initiative that successfully replaced legacy Commercial, Manufacturing and Financial business processes and IT systems with a common approach across all Divisions and Functions of the company. This required significant adjustments to long-held work habits for many of Merck’s US employees.

Prior to joining Merck, Jim held several positions in the US Federal Government, including Budget Examiner at the US Office of Management and Budget; Senior Aide on the Senate Committees on Budget and Finance, working directly with Ranking Members Sen. Pete Domenici (NM) and Sen. Bob Packwood (OR); and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Legislation in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Jim earned his AB in History from Cornell University, MA in Public Policy and Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University. He grew up in a college town and has a firm belief in the potential of higher education to improve lives.

Jim and his wife Janet, an attorney who practices Trademark Law, live in Washington, D.C.  They previously lived in Doylestown for almost twenty years.  They are proud to have raised two sons in Bucks County, both of whom are Phillies fans who live and work in New York City!