CMS Leadership

Seema Verma, Administrator

seema verma

President Trump nominated Seema Verma to be the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & 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

Mary Mayhew, Deputy Administrator and Director

Mary C. Mayhew is the Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) within the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As the Center Director of CMCS, Ms. Mayhew 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.

In 2011, Mary was appointed by Governor Paul R. LePage to be the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services.  As Commissioner, Ms. Mayhew managed many of the state’s most vital programs, including MaineCare (Maine’s Medicaid program), Aging and Disability Services, Child Welfare, Adult Protective Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Food Stamps (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), child support enforcement, agency licensure and public health.

Under her leadership, guidance and policy direction, Ms. Mayhew spearheaded the LePage Administration’s welfare reform efforts by implementing time limits and work requirements to help people onto a pathway of prosperity and out of poverty, and government dependency. Ms. Mayhew increased the department’s focus on fraud prevention, detection and prosecution to protect taxpayer funding of these safety-net programs for vulnerable adults and families in need of assistance.

Ms. Mayhew also led the department in establishing effective program prioritization and financial management practices. Ms. Mayhew implemented innovative reforms in Maine’s Medicaid program, focused on improved care coordination, and data-informed healthcare decision-making. Her agency accomplished this through investments in primary care and the establishment of statewide health homes and behavioral health homes, complex case management, and Medicaid Accountable Care Models. With a keen focus on data analytics and data-informed decision-making, her agency prioritized measurable performance outcomes to assure taxpayer funds are accomplishing meaningful goals for those served by the Department.

From June 2017 to June 2018, Mayhew was a candidate for Governor in Maine.

Prior to her appointment as Commissioner of Maine DHHS, Ms. Mayhew was the Senior Health Policy Advisor for the LePage Administration.  And before serving in the LePage Administration, Ms. Mayhew  served for 11 years as vice president of the Maine Hospital Association.

Mary is a Maine native and has two sons, Cameron and Chance.

Timothy Hill, Deputy Center Director

Tim Hill Photo

Mr. Hill is the Deputy Center Director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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

Dr. Deidre S. Gifford has served as the Deputy Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) at CMS since 2016. She has held leadership positions in Medicaid and healthcare reform in both the public and private sectors, focusing on quality improvement and payment and delivery system reform.

Dr. Gifford served as Medicaid Director in the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, having previously served as the agency’s 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 payment innovations. 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. Prior to joining CMS, she served as the Director of State Policy and Programs at the National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD), where she led that organization’s efforts with states to support and advance value based purchasing in Medicaid. Dr. Gifford was also the Director of Healthcare Policy and Programs for Rhode Island’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization from 1998 - 2008.

CMCHO Leadership

Jackie Garner, Consortium Administrator

Photo of Jackie Garner

Jackie Garner is the Medicaid Consortium Administrator, overseeing Medicaid operations in all ten Regional Offices.  Jackie joined the Centers for Medicare & 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.