Dr. Mandy Cohen Becomes NC DHHS Secretary


Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH, has joined the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as its Secretary, following her appointment Jan. 13, 2017, by Governor Roy Cooper.

DHHS is a cabinet-level agency with approximately 15,000 employees and an annual budget of $20 billion.

Secretary Cohen is an internal medicine physician with experience leading complex health organizations. She was most recently the Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She brings a deep understanding of national health care and has been responsible for implementing policies for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Federal Marketplace.

“I look forward over the coming days and weeks to getting to know the DHHS Team and the work you are doing,” said Secretary Cohen. “As a physician and policy maker, I know how much your work impacts the people of North Carolina every day. I am excited to be part of this team that is working to improve the health, safety and well-being of all North Carolinians.”

Before serving as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff at CMS, Secretary Cohen was the Principal Deputy Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at CMS where she oversaw the Health Insurance Marketplace and private insurance market regulation.

Prior to her role in CCIIO, she served as a Senior Advisor to the Administrator coordinating Affordable Care Act implementation activities across CMS, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with external partners. Before that, Dr. Cohen was the Director of Stakeholder Engagement for the CMS Innovation Center, where she worked with the Innovation Center’s many stakeholders to identify and test new payment and care delivery models.

Dr. Cohen graduated from Cornell University, received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a Master’s in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health, and trained in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cohen is married to Sam Cohen, a health care regulatory lawyer, and has two daughters.