CMS Leadership

Seema Verma, Administrator

Seema Verma photoPresident Trump nominated Seema Verma to be the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 29th, 2016, and she was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 13, 2017. As Administrator of CMS, she oversees one of the largest federal agencies that administers vital healthcare programs to over 100 million Americans. Before becoming CMS Administrator, she was the President, CEO and founder of SVC, Inc., a national health policy consulting company. For over 20 years, Ms. Verma has worked extensively on a variety of policy and strategic projects involving Medicaid, insurance, and public health, working with Governor's offices, State Medicaid agencies, State Health Departments, State Departments of Insurance, as well as the federal government, private companies and foundations.

Ms. Verma has extensive experience redesigning Medicaid programs in several states. Ms. Verma is the architect the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), the Nation's first consumer-directed Medicaid program under Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Governor Pence’s HIP 2.0 waiver proposal. Ms. Verma has supported Indiana through development of the historic program since its inception in 2007, from development of the enabling legislation, negotiating the financing plan with the State’s hospital association, developing the federal waiver, supporting federal negotiations and leading the implementation of the program, including the operational design.

Ms. Verma and her SVC team developed many of the recent Medicaid reform programs including waivers for Iowa, Ohio and Kentucky. She helped design Tennessee’s coverage expansion proposal and also provided technical assistance to Michigan as that State implemented its 1115 Medicaid waiver. Ms. Verma and SVC also supported Iowa’s Medicaid transition to managed care, as well as supporting efforts Medicaid strategy efforts in Maine.

Ms. Verma served as the State of Indiana’s health reform lead following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and has worked with multiple public health agencies and state insurance agencies as they prepared for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including interpreting and implementing regulatory changes and understanding the impact of the health exchanges on state insurance markets. Ms. Verma has served as Vice President of Planning for the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana, and as a Director with the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in Washington D.C.

Ms. Verma received her Master’s degree in Public Health with concentration in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University and her Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences from the University of Maryland.

CMCS Leadership

Brian Neale, Director & Deputy Administrator

Brian Neale photoBrian Neale is the CMS Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. In this role, Brian oversees the state-federal partnership to administer Medicaid, CHIP, and Basic Health Programs, and works closely with states to accomplish their specific programmatic goals.

Brian joins CMS having served in several public-sector leadership roles, including most recently as Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) under Senator Dan Coats. Prior to joining the JEC, Brian was Health Care Policy Director for the State of Indiana, where he helped lead Medicaid and other health reform efforts on behalf of Governor Mike Pence. Brian has also served in Washington, D.C. as Legislative Director and Counsel to Congressman Mike Pence and as appointed Advisor to the U.S. Small Business Administrator Sandy Baruah.

Brian holds a J.D. from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University Bloomington.

Timothy Hill, Deputy Center Director

Tim Hill photoMr. Hill is the Acting Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  As Acting Director of CMCS, Tim Hill leads activities related to national Medicaid and CHIP policy and program operations, and works closely with states in the implementation of their Medicaid and CHIP programs.

Tim has held a number of senior leadership positions in CMS including Director of the CMCS Financial Management Group, CMS Chief Financial Officer, Deputy Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) and Deputy Director of the Center for Medicare (CM).  He has an extensive background in financial management, program integrity, and state collaboration. Tim is a graduate of Northeastern University and has a Master's Degree from the University of Connecticut.



Deidre Gifford, M.D., Deputy Center Director

Diedre Gifford PhotoCMCS welcomed Dr. Deidre Gifford as a Deputy Director on October 3rd. Dr. Gifford was formerly the Director of State Policy and Programs at the National Association of Medicaid Directors, where she has led that organization’s efforts with states to support and advance value based purchasing in Medicaid. She has held numerous leadership positions in healthcare policy, focusing on quality improvement and the reform of the payment and delivery system. Prior to joining NAMD, Deidre served as Medicaid Director in  the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, having previously served as medical director. During her tenure there from 2012 and 2015 she advanced changes in the payment and delivery system to improve the quality of care and enhance the value of Medicaid services, including the development of numerous initiatives in care coordination, information technology, and provider incentives.  From 2005 until 2011, Dr. Gifford was co-founder and Project Director of Rhode Island's multi-payer Medical Home demonstration, one of the nation’s first and most enduring multi-payer payment reform initiatives.  She was Director of Healthcare Policy and Programs for Rhode Island’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization until 2008. Dr. Gifford is a graduate of Cornell University Medical College and holds both a bachelor’s and master's degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the UCLA School of Public Health. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA Medical Center in 1991 and has held faculty positions in Public Health and Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA and Brown Medical Schools.

CMCHO Leadership

Jackie Garner, Consortium Administrator

Jackie Garner photoJackie Garner is the Medicaid Consortium Administrator, overseeing Medicaid operations in all ten Regional Offices.  Jackie joined the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as the Chicago Regional Administrator in 2003. She holds a Master’s degree and came to CMS with over twenty years of experience in health and human services.

Before joining CMS Garner served as a senior member of the Illinois Governor’s health policy staff and later went on to a cabinet level position with the Illinois Department of Public Aid, the state Medicaid and S-CHIP agency. As Director she oversaw the development and implementation of one of the first state pharmacy waiver programs. She also has extensive experience in not for profit executive leadership including substance abuse/mental health programs and was active in state legislative affairs. She was a senior member of the California Endowment foundation staff immediately following their conversion from Blue Cross of California and is knowledgeable of foundation operations.  Throughout her career she has always advocated for improved access and quality of health care for underserved communities.