Director, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland
Uma S. Ahluwalia is currently the Director of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Health and Human Services. With nearly 1,600 employees, the Department is one of the largest agencies in Montgomery County and includes Aging and Disability Services; Behavioral Health and Crisis Services; Children, Youth and Family Services; Public Health Services; and, Special Needs Housing. The Department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2015 is more than $273 million. Caseloads for the Department in the past four years have risen dramatically as more families and individuals struggle through the tough economy.
Uma holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Delhi in India and a Specialist Post-Masters in Health Services Administration from George Washington University. Over a 25-year career in human services, she has progressively moved from case-carrying social work to executive leadership at the state and local levels.
Deputy Mayor, Health and Human Services, District of Columbia
Brenda Donald became deputy mayor for Health and Human Services for the District of Columbia on January 2, 2015. In this role, she is charged with making sure that residents of all ages receive the services they need to lead healthy and productive lives in the District of Columbia.
Deputy Mayor Donald joins the Bowser Administration after three-years as director of the DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) where she was widely credited with accelerating the District's ongoing child welfare reform and establishing a host of performance improvements. Within her first two months, she established a strategic agenda known for as the Four Pillars that has focused the District child welfare system on improving outcomes for children, youth, and families. For example, when placement with relatives became the first choice for children entering foster care, the rate of kin placement climbed from 14 percent to 26 percent, an increase of 86 percent. Meanwhile, use of best practices in addressing reports of child abuse/neglect and increased support for families helped to reduce the number of District children in foster care from about 1,800 at the start of FY12 to about 1,000 today.
Director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health
Dr. Bob is the Director of the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. At 4 million people, it is the third most populous local public health jurisdiction in the US. Since he began in this position nearly 10 years ago, his mission has been to look for innovative solutions to re-build the local public health infrastructure in a very resource-poor environment. He has been a public health doc his entire career, and has held several positions in state or local public health in Arizona and in Connecticut, including twice being the State Epidemiologist for Arizona.
Principal Bloomberg Associates and former Deputy Mayor, Health & Human Services, City of New York
Linda Gibbs served as New York City Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services from 2005-2013.
Supervising the city’s human service, public health and social justice agencies, she spearheaded major initiatives on poverty alleviation, juvenile justice reform and obesity reduction. “Age Friendly NYC”, a blueprint for enhancing livability for older New Yorkers; and “Young Men’s Initiative”, addressing race-based disparities facing Black and Latino young men in the areas of health, education, employment training and the justice system, are two of the collaborative efforts she shaped to address significant social challenges. Gibbs also improved the use of data and technology in human service management, contract effectiveness, and evidence-based program development. During her tenure, New York City has been the only top-20 city in the U.S. whose poverty rate did not increase while the national average rose 28%.
Prior to her appointment as Deputy Mayor, Gibbs was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services and held senior positions with the Administration for Children’s Services and the Office of Management and Budget.
Director, Allegheny County Health Department
Dr. Karen Hacker is the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Health Policy and Management and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health and a Visiting Clinical Professor at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. In her role as Director of the Health Department she is responsible for overseeing its programs and activities that range from maternal and child health to environmental health and epidemiology and biostatistics. Prior to her current position, Dr. Hacker was Executive Director of the Institute for Community Health and the Senior Medical Director for Public and Community Health at the Cambridge Health Alliance with appointments at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health. She has extensive expertise in community-based participatory research and has published widely on a variety of public and community health topics.
Dr. Hacker received her BA from Yale University, her MD from Northwestern, her Adolescent fellowship training at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and her MPH from Boston University. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Adolescent Medicine.
Deputy Director Work Support Strategies Project (WSS) and Senior Policy Analyst, CLASP
Cemeré James is deputy director of the CLASP-led Work Support Strategies (WSS) initiative and senior policy analyst, where her work is focused on strategies to increase access to public work support programs. Cemeré provides strategic leadership to this initiative which supports a select group of states designing, testing, and implementing more streamlined and integrated approaches to delivering key supports for low-income working families, including health coverage, nutrition benefits, and child care subsidies. From her experience as Lead Operations Specialist on WSS in Illinois, she brings knowledge of state operations and policy implementation and is passionate about working in social services and policy reform initiatives. From 2009-2011, Cemeré was an inaugural fellow in Illinois Early Childhood Fellows Program where she worked as an advocate for access to quality early childhood education and supported strategic planning initiative.
Ms. James holds a Master of Public Policy from University of Chicago and a Master of Industrial Engineering and Management Science from Northwestern University, and she earned a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Florida A&M University.
Executive Director of the Policy Innovation Lab, Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center, University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.
The Lab is dedicated to developing innovative and data-driven approaches to solving difficult social problems. Prior to joining the Lab, Jeremy was senior advisor to Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams from 2013 to 2015. During his time at Salt Lake County, Jeremy advised the Mayor on his key policy initiatives, including financing, transportation, homelessness, criminal justice, health, culture and the arts and economic development. Prior to joining Salt Lake County, Jeremy practiced corporate transactional law in New York, London and Los Angeles with the law firms of Cleary Gottlieb and Latham & Watkins, from 2006 to 2013. Jeremy received his JD from New York University in 2006, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government in 2006 and bachelors degrees in Biology and French from Brigham Young University in 2001. Jeremy is married (Amy) and has three boys (Liam 9, Heath 5, Jude 2).
Associate Administrative Judge, Miami-Dade County Court, 11th Circuit Court of Florida
From 2007 – 2010, Miami-Dade County Judge Steve Leifman served as Special Advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health for the Supreme Court of Florida. In this capacity, Judge Leifman was responsible for chairing the Court’s Mental Health Subcommittee which authored a ground-breaking report entitled, Transforming Florida’s Mental Health System.
Judge Leifman currently chairs the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court and the Mental Health Committee for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida where he was responsible for creating the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project. This highly successful program diverts non-violent defendants with mental illnesses to appropriate mental health facilities and provides Crisis Intervention Team training for law enforcement agencies in Miami-Dade County. The program has substantially reduced recidivism, saved critical funds and has saved lives.
Due to his expertise, Judge Leifman has been appointed to several local, state and national mental health initiatives, committees and Boards.
Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy
Trish Riley is Executive Director of the National Academy for State Health Policy and president of its corporate Board. She helped build NASHP as CEO from 1988-2003. She is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.
Previously she was a Senior Fellow at the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine and a Lecturer in State Health Policy at George Washington University.
From 2003-2011 she served as Director of Governor Baldacci’s Office of Health Policy and Finance, leading the effort to develop a comprehensive, coordinated health system in Maine including access to affordable health insurance. She was the principal architect of Dirigo Health Reform and served as the state’s liaison to the federal government and Congress, particularly during deliberations around national health reform. She chaired the Governor’s Steering Committee to develop a plan to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maine.
Riley has also held appointive positions under five Maine governors – directing the aging office, Medicaid and state health agencies, and health planning and licensing programs.
Executive Director, National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD)
Matt Salo was named the first Executive Director, and at the time, only staff member of the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) in February 2011. This was a bit of a homecoming, as his first real job out of college was working for the Medicaid Directors from 1994 to 1999.
Matt formerly spent 12 years at the National Governors Association, where he worked on the Governors’ health care and human services reform agendas, and where he firmly believes he was responsible for securing the entire tobacco settlement for the states, getting more than $100 billion in state fiscal relief, and in modernizing the Medicaid program.
Matt taught high school for two years at T.C. Williams High in Alexandria, VA, which actually bears no resemblance to the school they profiled in the Disney movie, Remember the Titans. He holds a BA in Eastern Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, and is still trying to find ways to explain how that got him to where he is today.
Executive Director, American Public Human Services Association
Tracy L. Wareing is the Executive Director of American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), a bipartisan, nonprofit membership organization representing human service agencies through their top-level leadership. Building on the expertise and experience of the APHSA membership, Wareing is leading the Association’s efforts to drive transformation of the health and human services system in the United States to a more sustainable path that is both effective and cost efficient. She is a strong advocate for strengthening public-private partnerships in order to advance the collective impact of both sectors on the human services field.
Wareing has a long history in high-level policy development and public administration. Prior to joining APHSA, Wareing served as a senior adviser to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Before moving to Washington D.C. in 2009, Wareing lived in Arizona and served as Director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, an integrated human service agency. Prior to her cabinet appointment, she served in multiple senior policy and legal advisor roles in the state of Arizona.