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HBX Executive Board Elects New Chairperson

Friday, July 12, 2013
The DC Health Benefit Exchange (HBX) Authority Executive Board has elected Diane C. Lewis, M.P.A., to serve as its new chairperson. Ms. Lewis, who is co-principal and executive vice president for ALTA Consulting Group, will replace Chairman Mohammad N. Akhter, M.D., who has served as chairman since the Board was created in July 2012. Dr. Akhter will remain on the Board.
“I am pleased Diane Lewis has been elected to succeed me as Board Chair. As a longtime DC resident, small business owner, and health care expert, Diane will be a tremendous asset to our efforts to create the best possible health insurance marketplace,” said Dr. Akhter. “It has been a privilege to serve as the Board’s first chair and I look forward to continuing to work on the Board to improve the health of our residents.”
The Executive Board was officially sworn in by Mayor Vincent C. Gray on July 17, 2012, to guide implementation of a crucial part of the new health care law – the creation of an online health insurance marketplace for the District, called DC Health Link. The District is a national leader in developing an online marketplace for individuals, families, and small businesses to shop for insurance, compare options and access financial help to reduce premium costs. 
“I am honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to chair the Executive Board and I am excited to work with them in my new capacity. Dr. Akhter has done a tremendous job as Chairman and I look forward to picking up the reins to continue leading the Exchange to success,” said Ms. Lewis.   
At its July 11 meeting, the Board also re-elected Henry J. Aaron as vice chair and Khalid Pitts as secretary-treasurer of the Executive Board.  
Bios of Elected Officers
Diane C. Lewis, MPA, is co-principal and executive vice president for ALTA Consulting Group.  She offers expertise in the areas of community development and health care systems. Ms. Lewis served as Project Director for the design and development of integrated health system models in Washington, D.C. and Kansas City Missouri. Ms. Lewis’ work also includes the development of community-based health care provider networks in managed care environments. Ms. Lewis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from City College of New York and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Henry J. Aaron is currently Bruce and Virginia MacLaury senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution. From 1990 through 1996 Dr. Aaron was the Director of the Economic Studies Program. Dr. Aaron initially joined the Brookings staff in 1968. From 1967 until 1989 he also taught at the University of Maryland. In 1977 and 1978 he served as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. He chaired the 1979 Advisory Council on Social Security. During the academic year 1996-97 he was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Aaron is a graduate of UCLA and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Khalid Pitts is the director of Strategic Campaigns for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).  In this capacity Mr. Pitts is responsible for coordinating SEIU's national issue campaign efforts.  On staff with SEIU since 2004, he has led SEIU's political efforts in national campaigns as well as on national legislative issue campaigns around civil rights, social security, children’s health (SCHIP) and Medicaid.  In addition, he played a principle role for the SEIU as it worked to pass the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Pitts earned his undergraduate degree in history from The College of The Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and has a Master’s in Public Health from the George Washington School of Medicine.