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Health Benefit Exchange Authority Staff

Mila Kofman – Ms. Kofman is the Executive Director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. A nationally recognized expert on private health insurance markets, Kofman was the former Superintendent of Insurance in Maine from 2008 to 2011 where she regulated a multi-billion dollar insurance industry and headed an agency of more than 70 employees.  Appointed by the former Governor of Maine, John Baldacci, Kofman, worked with states and stakeholders to implement health insurance reforms. Her effective leadership in developing alliances with business groups, the insurance industry, consumer and patient advocates, physicians, trial lawyers and state agencies helped to improve and strengthen Maine’s insurance market for both consumers and businesses.   
In addition to serving on the Governor’s Steering committee on health reform implementation, Kofman served in several other key leadership positions, including Secretary –Treasurer of the Northeastern Zone of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), chair of the Health Insurance Regulatory Framework Task Force (2011) and co-chair of the Consumer Information working group of NAIC.   
Kofman’s public service includes working at the US Department of Labor (1997-2001), where she implemented health care reform.  As special assistant to the Senior Health Care Advisor to the President at the Domestic Policy Council for the White House, Kofman assisted with legislative and regulatory health care reform initiatives including the Patient’s Bill of Rights, long-term care insurance, nursing home reform, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) reform. 
Having served in the academic arena, Kofman was an Associate Research Professor and Project Director at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute from 2001 to 2008. She rejoined the faculty as a Research Professor and Project Director in July 2011 following her tenure as Superintendent of Insurance in Maine. In that capacity, she advised states on the Affordable Care Act, reform options, implementation, and establishment of insurance exchanges.   
A published author, Kofman’s work includes a report on health insurance scams and articles on state and federal health insurance reforms in peer reviewed journals. She has also served as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases involving health insurance scams and unauthorized insurance, and has testified before the US Senate, US House of Representatives, and state legislatures. 
Ms. Kofman holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland (summa cum laude). She, her husband and two adopted dogs currently reside in Maryland. Mila Kofman will relocate to the District in the coming months.
Sandra E. Robinson, Senior Deputy Director for Operations/Chief Operating Officer – From Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013, Ms. Robinson served as the Interim Executive Director of the Exchange, working with the Authority’s Executive Board, to begin the process of establishing the agency’s systems and operational infrastructure. Prior to joining the Exchange Authority’s staff, Ms. Robinson served as the Chief Operating Officer for the District of Columbia Department of Health.  While there, she oversaw the day-to-day operations of one of the largest agencies within District government, with 667 employees and an operating budget of $243 million and managed a vast array of agency functions. A native of Indiana, Ms. Robinson has been a resident of the District since 1975 and is active in a number of civic and charitable organizations related to adult literacy and the elderly.
Debbie Curtis, Senior Deputy Director for Policy and Exchange Programs – Ms. Curtis has more than 23 years of experience working on Capitol Hill, where she was one of the leading experts on health insurance, Medicare, and mental health parity.  Most recently, she served on the Democratic Professional Staff for the Committee on Ways and Means in the US House of Representatives.  For the previous 15 years, she served in a joint position as the Chief of Staff for Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), and as a professional staff member on the Ways and Means Democratic Staff, where she played a key role in developing the Affordable Care Act.  Prior to her work for Rep. Stark, Ms. Curtis served as health legislative assistant for (then Representative) now Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. Jim Moody (D-WI), both then Ways and Means Health Subcommittee members. 
Ms. Curtis was the Congressional Affairs Director for Citizen Action, a nationwide grassroots consumer advocacy organization, where she lobbied for national health care reform during the Clinton Administration.  She’s also worked on the staffs of now Senator (then Representative) Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA).  Ms. Curtis graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1988. She is a longtime resident of the District and lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and daughter.
Purvee Parekh Kempf, General Counsel and Chief Policy Advisor – From 2003 to 2013, Ms. Kempf served as senior counsel for health policy in the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.  Her primary responsibilities were protecting and improving federal regulation of private health insurance, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, health information technology, and privacy through legislation and oversight for Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and previously Congressman John Dingell (D-MI).  In that role she helped negotiate and draft the health reform provisions in the Affordable Care Act including the statutory authority and responsibilities for health benefit exchanges.
Ms. Kempf also negotiated and ushered through the House of Representatives groundbreaking health information technology and privacy legislation, as well as the expansion and reauthorization of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, Ms. Kempf was an associate in the health practice group at Hogan & Hartson, LLP, currently Hogan Lovells, and a healthcare consultant at Anderson Consulting, currently Accenture.  She received an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School.  See lives in the District with her husband and three young children.
Linda Wharton Boyd, Ph.D., Director of External Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement – Wharton Boyd joined the Exchange’s senior management team from the DC Department of Health (DOH), where she has been the Senior Advisor, Communications and External Affairs, and helped the agency establish a social media presence. Prior to this appointment, she was detailed to the Exchange to assist in communications and media relations. She earlier served as Director of Communications for Mayor Vincent C. Gray, and was a member of the Mayor’s Executive Cabinet and the official spokesperson for the Mayor and the Government of the District of Columbia. 
Linda Wharton Boyd has spent much of her professional career working to improve the lives of District residents. She is a communications professional with a proven record of success in communications, marketing, public affairs, media relations, organizational development, strategic planning, and problem solving with the ability to effectively design, implement and manage internal and external communications and marketing programs, projects, information campaigns, promotions, as well as achieve organizational goals beyond expectations. In addition to her work at the Department of Health and the Executive Office of the Mayor, Wharton Boyd has also served as Chief of Staff/Chief Communications Officer for Councilmember Michael A. Brown; Chief Communications Officer for the DC Public Schools; Director of the Office of Communications and Public Affairs for the DC Department of Human Services/Office of the Deputy Mayor For Children, Youth, Elders And Families; and Director of the DC Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications. 
With a wealth of experiences to draw upon in strategic communications, public relations, media, telecommunications and external affairs in both the public and private sectors, Wharton Boyd is responsible for building the Health Benefit Exchange’s strategic partnerships across the city with various community-based organizations, to include nonprofits, faith based institutions, and diverse populations. She will also serve as the liaison to the Council of the District of Columbia and District government agencies.
She holds a Ph.D. in Communications and Master’s in Speech Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a Certified Public Manager (CPM) degree from George Washington University. She is a resident of the District.
Alexander Alonso, Eligibility, Enrollment and Appeals Manager – Mr. Alonso served as the Eligibility and Enrollment Manager for the DC Health Reform and Innovation Administration (HCRIA).  HCRIA was responsible for the initial planning and establishment of the DC health benefit exchange.  Prior to joining HCRIA, Mr. Alonso served as a law fellow at the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, focusing on Medicaid eligibility, coverage, and provider sanctions.  Prior to joining District government, Mr. Alonso worked for as a health policy specialist in two private firms representing specialty physician associations, dialysis chains, and pharmaceutical companies.  He also has experience working with the Montgomery County State Attorney's Office, HHS Office of Inspector General, Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals, and Departmental Appeals Board.  Mr. Alonso is a graduate of The George Washington University, having received a J.D., an M.P.H. in Health Policy, and an M.A. in Legislative Affairs.  He also is a proud graduate of the University of Florida, where he received a B.S. in Business Administration and Economics.   Mr. Alonso has been a resident of the District since 2002.
Sarah Baggé, Eligibility and Enrollment Policy Analyst – Ms. Baggé has a background rooted in the field of health policy, and most recently served as a health policy analyst at Families USA, where her work focused on national and state-level eligibility and enrollment policy. Prior to her work at Families USA, Ms. Baggé was a Bill Emerson Fellow at the Congressional Hunger Center. As a fellow, Ms. Baggé worked on improving access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with the Arizona Community Action Association, and on implementation of the Affordable Care Act with Families USA. Ms. Baggé has also served as an AmeriCorps member with Seedco, providing tax preparation assistance and public benefits enrollment assistance in New York City. Ms. Baggé holds a B.A. from Wheaton College and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University. Ms. Baggé is a resident of the District.
David J. Byrd, Business Development Liaison –Mr. Byrd has over 25 years of experience in politics and government at the local, state and national levels. Mr. Byrd served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Prince George’s County, MD, from April 2006 to January 2011. Mr. Byrd’s responsibilities included governmental operations and public infrastructure, environmental services, economic development, and internal support services for the county. Mr. Byrd is a former two time Presidential appointee and a former three time Gubernatorial appointee. In his role at the DCHBX, Mr. Byrd works directly with the small business partners as well as contributes on the Outreach team. Mr. Byrd has a BA in English from Ohio Wesleyan University and a MA in Corporate Public Relations from Rowan University. 
Keith Fletcher, Chief Financial Officer – Mr. Fletcher has spent almost a decade working on the budgets of various agencies within District Government. For 5 years prior to joining the Exchange Authority, Mr. Fletcher served as the Agency Fiscal Officer (AFO) at the Department of Health where he was responsible for managing the finances of one of the largest and most complex agencies within the District government, with over 667 employees including 35 finance staff, 187 Federal grants and an operating and capital budget of $243 million and $250 million respectively. Before joining the Department of Health, Mr. Fletcher served as the AFO at the Department of Parks and Recreation and DC Public Libraries. Mr. Fletcher holds a B.A. in finance from Howard University and is a graduate of the George Washington University Program for Excellence in Municipal Management, and the AFO Succession Program within the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

Kimberly Green, Community Outreach Specialist (Consultant) - Ms. Green supports DC community initiatives of the Affordable Care Act providing excellent communication and organizational skills  with an outcomes-based orientation in the areas of events and activities, inclusive of town hall meetings, special events, and leadership summits. Ms. Green’s public involvement experience of community initiatives includes facilitation and management of outreach, recruitment and communications with East Point Government, as well as with Atlanta’s regional transportation system (MARTA), Greyhound, and Fulton County Government. Ms. Green holds a B.F.A., an M. Ed., and is a current doctoral candidate.

Stephen Haines, Business Intelligence Manager – Prior to joining the HBX, Mr. Haines was a management consultant with a privately held firm serving public sector clients. In this role, he managed business operations reporting and data analytics for the Massachusetts Health Connector. Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Haines assisted several states during their implementations of a health insurance exchange. Mr. Haines has a Master’s degree in Information Systems and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, both from Hawaii Pacific University.

Ikeita Cantú Hinojosa, Associate General Counsel and Policy Advisor – Ikeita Cantú Hinojosa focuses on legal and policy issues associated with operationalizing the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX). She serves as HBX’s Privacy and Data Security Officer, and she oversees the DC Health Link Assister Program, the DC Health Link Navigator Program, and the DC Health Link Certified Application Counselor Program. Before HBX, Ms. Cantú Hinojosa was the Director of the Partner Relations Group for the Office of Public Engagement in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She also handled Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services in the Office of Consumer Support within the HHS Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). Before HHS, Ms. Cantú Hinojosa served as Assistant Director of Government Relations for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Her legal and policy experience includes law firm contracting, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Women’s Law Center, Legal Momentum, and the law firm of Arnold & Porter in the District, as well as the City of Lubbock and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in her home state of Texas. Ms. Cantú Hinojosa is a graduate of both Texas Tech University and the University of Michigan. She is a licensed professional social worker and currently serves as a Life Skills Instructor to inmates in the Fairfax County, Virginia, Alternative Incarceration Branch. She is licensed to practice law in both the District of Columbia and Maryland.

Samuel Ince, Accounting Officer – Mr. Ince brings over ten years of accounting experience to the DC Health Benefit Exchange. Mr. Ince began his career with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) as a senior auditor with the Officer of Integrity and Oversight and as an accountant.  Mr. Ince later moved to the Department of Health to work as an accountant. At the Department of Health (DOH), Mr. Ince was responsible for the accounting for DOH’s three largest grants (Ryan White Relief- Part A; Ryan White Care – Part B; and the Housing Opportunity for People with AIDS - HOPWA Grants). Before joining the OCFO, Mr. Ince was an auditor with the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General for three years.  Mr. Ince holds a B.B.A – Accounting from the University of the District of Columbia. 

Regina Knight, Staff Assistant – Ms. Knight, comes to the Health Benefit Exchange from the DC law firm community, where she worked several years as an intellectual property assistant. As an intellectual property assistant, she gave general secretarial support to three attorneys in the IP Patent Prosecution practice area and prepared client correspondence. Her current responsibilities at the District of Columbia’s Health Benefit Exchange include clerical and administrative support for the Exchange staff. Ms. Knight’s administrative supports allows for the day to day operations of the Health Benefit Exchange Staff. Ms. Knight brings several years of professional experience to the Exchange and holds a BS in Political Science from Tuskegee University.  

Jilu Lenji, Budget Officer – Ms. Lenji is a skilled budget professional with over 15 years of experience facilitating and managing the finance and budgetary needs for various state governments, as well as agencies and businesses in the private and non-profit sectors. Ms. Lenji most recently worked at the District of Columbia, Department of Transportation (DDOT) for three years as a senior budget analyst. While at DDOT, Ms. Lenji managed a budget of 33 million dollars and capital budget of 257.6 million dollars. Prior to joining DDOT, Ms. Lenji worked at the Baltimore Housing Authority and Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority where she managed and reviewed their operational budgets. Ms. Lenji holds a B.A. in Finance from the Bentley University, Boston.

Jennifer M. Libster, Associate General Counsel – Ms. Libster provides legal advice to the Exchange marketplace and services as its compliance officer.  Prior to joining the DC Health Benefit Exchange, Ms. Libster worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the market reforms and the federally-facilitated Marketplace. Ms. Libster served as the Director of the Transparency and Disclosure Division, which worked on development and implementation of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage and other initiatives to help ensure greater transparency in the insurance markets.  Prior to her federal service, Ms. Libster worked for the Georgetown Health Policy Institute conducting research on the private health insurance markets.  Ms. Libster received a J.D. from the George Washington University School of Law and a M.A. in International Studies from the University of Birmingham (UK).  Ms. Libster is a graduate of Randolph-Macon Women’s College, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy.

Nicole Matthews, Contract Specialist – Ms. Matthews has had over 20 years of progressive responsible experience in Contracting and Procurement with the District of Columbia government where she has worked as a contract specialist for D.C. government’s Department of Health, Office of Contracting and Procurement, and the Department of Motor Vehicle.  As the Contract Specialist at the District of Columbia’s Health Benefit Exchange, Ms. Matthews procures goods/services for the Agency, prepares and issues solicitation documents, determines solicitation and award methodologies  using various procurement methods- IFB, RFP, RFQ, Blanket Purchase Agreements, Federal Supply Schedule (GSA),Cooperative Agreements using Ariba E-Sourcing module to enforce a competitive range as well as assist with Purchase Order and Contracts close-out. Ms. Matthews is graduate of The College of Southern Maryland and is currently enrolled in University of Maryland University College where she studies social science. 
Alison Nelson, Executive Assistant – Alison Nelson serves as the Executive Assistant to the Director and assists with Special Projects  for the Health Benefit Exchange Authority. Ms. Nelson’s responsibilities include organizing the Executive Board meetings, data gathering and entry, maintenance of schedules and records, and serving as a liaison between staff members and other departments. Prior to joining HBX, Ms. Nelson worked as a Research Coordinator for numerous programs, including accrual of minority patients to cancer clinical trials and genetic counseling and testing for hereditary breast cancer at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Nelson has a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and Maternal Child Health from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Science in Health Education from the University of Florida.
Heather Parker, Business Development Specialist – Ms. Parker serves as one of DCHBX’s Business Development Specialists, where she assists small business employers and employees applying for employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Prior to joining DCHBX, Ms. Parker worked with various nonprofit agencies on healthcare reform and access to health care services. Most recently, Ms. Parker worked as an in-person assister in DC, helping District residents apply for health coverage through DC Health Link. Ms. Parker is a graduate of The University of Cincinnati, having received a J.D., and an M.A. in Women’s Studies. She is also a graduate of Wilmington College, where she received an A.B. in Social and Political Studies.
Brendan Rose, Program Manager, Plan Management – Mr. Rose previously served as the Exchange Project Director for the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.  In this position he led the department’s efforts in implementation of insurance market reforms and regulations pursuant to Affordable Care Act, including the establishment of the District of Columbia Health Benefits Exchange, development of insurance market and Exchange market operational blueprints, and all other aspects of ACA related to health plan management. Mr. Rose began working for the District in January 2011. Prior, Mr. Rose served as Legislative Director for former Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI) and as Legislative Assistant to former Rep. David Obey (D-WI), where he worked on developing the eventual Affordable Care Act with a focus on provisions related to the Medicaid Expansion and Medicare payment reforms. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Texas Christian University and is a former AmeriCorps member.  Mr. Rose is a resident of the District.
Paulette Saunders, Administrative Specialist – Ms. Saunders has a very broad background in the administrative health field as she has worked for the Department of Health, The Community Health Administration, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program.  Ms. Saunders was a special assistant for Department of Health Office of the Director (OD) in the nation’s capital from 2011 to 2012. In this position she was responsible for manage and oversight of the Agency’s Purchase Card and Travel Card Programs, performed contracts and grant administration and monitoring within the Office of the Director, as well as coordinated the agency’s local and small business purchasing. At HBX, she works alongside Mr. Robison on the day to day operations. 

Ms. Teka Selamawit, Case Manager – Prior to coming to DCHBX, Ms. Teka has worked for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development managing programs worth over $200 million that addressed the Health and Water Sector Developments in Ethiopia. 

From 2010 to 2014, Ms. Teka worked at both the Ethiopian Community Center and Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care Inc. in Washington DC. While at the Ethiopian Community Center, Ms. Teka served the District’s low income families by facilitating access to Public Benefits such as Health Insurance, TANF and Food Stamps as well as managing other special programs. As a Program Manager for Mary’s Center’s Health Access Program, Ms. Teka has managed a successful Program that enrolled over a 1000 District residents into Qualified Health Plans during the first Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period for the Affordable Care Act and also was a DCHBX in-person assister.

Mary Beth Senkewicz, Associate General Counsel and Policy Advisor – Mary Beth Senkewicz provides legal and policy advice to the Exchange, and serves as its Freedom of Information Act officer. Prior to joining DCHBX, Ms. Senkewicz served as Deputy Commissioner, Life and Health, at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. In that position she represented the Commissioner at all of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) health insurance committees, including chairing the Senior Issues Task Force. Ms. Senkewicz also supervised the development of comprehensive health insurance statutory amendments to implement the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Senkewicz has also assisted the Supervisor of Insurance in Cairo, Egypt in developing a health insurance oversight structure and served as general counsel at the Wyoming Insurance Department, and is a past Executive Director of the Wyoming State Bar. Ms. Senkewicz has a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY and a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Cabrini College in Radnor, PA. Ms. Senkewicz is a New York City native.

Cherie’ Smith, Staff Assistant – Mrs. Smith serves as a Staff Assistant for the Health Benefit Exchange Authority and assists the Agency Financial Officer. Mrs. Smith’s responsibilities include maintenance of records, data gathering and entry, scheduling meetings, and other clerical duties. Prior to joining HBX, Mrs. Smith worked as an Accounting and Legal Executive Assistant. Currently, Mrs. Smith is pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor focus in Accounting and Business Management from Coppin State University.
Kenneth Taylor, Program Analyst – Kenneth Taylor serves as the Plan Management Program Analyst.  Mr. Taylor joins DCHBX from the Employee Benefits Cooperation of America, where he served as a marketing executive responsible for small and medium group sales, enrollment, compliance and maintenance. In this role, Mr. Taylor was also charged with ensuring Affordable Care Act readiness in Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia jurisdictions. Mr. Taylor’s extensive background in small group sales began when working with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. In this capacity, Mr. Taylor worked with the individual market departments, as well as small group sales and customer satisfaction for over five years. Mr. Taylor holds a B.A. from Johnson C. Smith University. Mr. Taylor is a District resident.
Hannah Turner, SHOP Program Manager – Ms. Turner is an experienced employee benefits expert specializing in benefit plan compliance with federal and state laws, tax codes, and federal health care reform. As the SHOP Program Manager, she is responsible for implementation of Federal and District laws and regulations for small group health coverage sold in the DC HBX insurance marketplace.  From 2009 to 2013, she was a legislative compliance consultant with Keller Benefit Services, one of the largest privately-held employee benefit consulting firms, serving approximately 400 employers in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan region, ranging in size from 10 to 1,500 employees.  She also served as the legislative chair of the Greater Washington Health Underwriters Association.  From 2005 to 2009, Ms. Turner was senior Human Resources Administrator for Henggeler Computer Consultants. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Candace Walls, IT Specialist – Ms. Walls joins DCHBX from the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) where she worked as the Lead IT Specialist at the Help Desk. Mrs. Walls has also held the position of IT Specialist Technical Coordinator with OCTO, consulting on onsite and offsite agency projects such as upgrading computers for District Department of Transportation, Office of the Attorney General, and a number of other District of Columbia Government agencies. Mrs. Walls began her diverse background in computer science working in the Executive Office of the President for former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama as the Senior IT Specialist for three years. In this capacity, Mrs. Walls trained and managed the Help Desk, created accounts and also assisted in the overhaul and refresh of over 2,500 computers while following National Security Agency procedures for proper record keeping for National Archives and Record Administration. Mrs. Walls has certificates from Georgetown in A+, Network+ and Security+. Mrs. Walls is currently enrolled at Prince George’s Community College.

Holly Whelan, Manager of Consumer Affairs – Holly serves as the Manager of Consumer Affairs where she leads the implementation of Members Services and the DC Health Link Navigator and Certified Application Counselor programs. Prior to her work at the DC Health Benefit Exchange, Holly worked for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the development and implementation of the Federally-facilitated Exchange Marketplace. During her time at CMS, Holly served as the Director of both the Navigator grant program and the Consumer Assistance grant program, which in total provided more than $100 million in grant funds to states and organizations to help consumers enroll into health coverage and appeal coverage denials. Prior to her federal service, Holly worked for The Endocrine Society as the Associate Director of Health Policy and for the American Diabetes Association as the Manager of Public Policy, where she conducted research on problems consumers face accessing affordable and adequate health coverage. Holly has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State University, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the George Washington University.

Melanie Williamson, Associate General Counsel – Prior to joining the Health Benefit Exchange Authority legal team, from 2011 to 2014 Ms. Williamson served as legislative counsel to Councilmember Yvette Alexander, Chair of the Committee on Health at the Council of the District of Columbia, and former Chair of the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs.   In that capacity, she oversaw the establishment of the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange and provided complex policy and legislative advice pertaining to the Exchange, the Department of Health Care Finance, and other agencies under the Committee’s purview.  Ms. Williamson also managed the Committee on Health’s oversight of the budget and disposition of programs and services for each agency, including the programs and major contracts supporting Exchange operations, the administration of Medicaid managed care and various Medicaid waiver programs, and the licensure and oversight of health facilities and professionals.  From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Williamson was a litigator at law firms in the private sector, where her practice ranged from defending major businesses in complex commercial litigation and  defending municipalities against alleged constitutional violations, to representing plaintiffs in consumer protection litigation and Medicaid-based qui tam actions brought under the federal False Claims Act.  Ms. Williamson has practiced in a number of jurisdictions and has been successful obtaining remedies for clients in a variety of matters, including the dismissal of major claims for liability in tort and negligence actions, and class action relief for unfair acts and practices under various state consumer protection statutes.  Ms. Williamson obtained her juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 2006 and is also a proud graduate of the Howard University College of Arts and Sciences and resident of Ward 8.

Velvia Worrell, Case Manager – Mrs. Worrell previously worked as an in-person assister for the DC Primary Care Association assisting with the enrollment of consumers through DC Health Link. Additionally, Mrs. Worrell previously worked for over 10 years as an Education Coordinator for the American Red Cross. In her current position, Mrs. Worrell is responsible for assessment of eligibility for enrollment, providing enrollment assistance in DC Health Link health plans and assisting individuals and families who are eligible to enroll in Medicaid. Mrs. Worrell has a BS in Business Management from the University of Phoenix and is currently pursuing a Masters in Conflict Management from Jones International University.