2017 DiversityInc Top 50 Announcement Event

Diversity Leadership: Bernard Tyson, Kaiser Permanente

Bernard Tyson, Kaiser PermanenteBernard J. Tyson
Chairman and CEO
Kaiser Permanente

We are a diverse organization, taking care of diverse people,” Bernard Tyson told DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti in an interview after he was named to succeed George Halvorson. Tyson is deeply committed to furthering Kaiser Permanente’s legacy as a top company for diversity.

Resource groups, an exceptionally diverse senior management, and the Institute for Culturally Competent Care all help ensure that Kaiser’s employees bring their best selves to the mission of providing quality, affordable healthcare to an increasingly diverse population. “It’s all about creating an environment where the people bring their best thinking forward and are respected and recognized for that,” says Tyson. “The benefit is to have a highly motivated staff coming to work every day, taking care of our 9 million-plus members.”

In three decades at Kaiser, Tyson has held many leadership roles, including President and Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Health Plan and Hospital Operations, and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the organization’s regions outside of California. He also led the company’s award-winning Thrive advertising campaign as Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Management.


A San Francisco Bay Area native, Tyson earned a Bachelor of Science in health service management and a Master of Business in health service administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He also earned a leadership certificate from Harvard University. He serves on the board of directors of the American Heart Association (AHA), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the International Federation of Health Plans. He also serves on the AHA’s CEO Roundtable, and he recently completed service as co-chair of the World Economic Forum Health Governors’ Community from 2013-2015 and chair of the Executive Leadership Council in 2012-2014. He was awarded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s 2014 National Equal Justice Award.