The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services today announced the appointment of Lisa J. Pino as Director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR enforces federal civil rights, conscience and religious freedom laws; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules; and the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act and Patient Safety Rule - which together protect individuals' fundamental civil rights and medical privacy.
"Lisa is an exceptional public servant, and I am delighted to welcome her to the role of the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS," said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. "Her breadth of experience and management expertise, particularly her hand in advancing civil rights regulations and policy at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during the Obama-Biden Administration, will help ensure that we protect the rights of every person across the country as we work to build a healthier America."
Most recently, Pino served as the New York State Department of Health's Executive Deputy Commissioner, the agency's second-highest executive. In this capacity, Pino led New York's operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as programming for 19.5 million New Yorkers, including Medicaid, Medicare, Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Hospital and Alternative Care Facility, Wadsworth Laboratories, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Community Health, and AIDS Institute.
She is a former senior executive service official appointed by President Barack Obama who served at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). At DHS, Pino was Senior Counselor and drove the 2015 U.S. cyber breach mitigation of 4 million federal personnel and 22 million surrogate profiles, the largest hack in federal history, by renegotiating 700 vendor procurements and establishing new cybersecurity regulatory protections.
Prior to DHS, Pino served as USDA Deputy Administrator of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, where she drafted and championed USDA's first gender identity anti-discrimination program regulation and its first USDA limited English proficiency guidance. Additionally, she directed USDA's outreach and engagement activities to ensure that minority farmers had access to benefits awarded through class action settlements. Prior to joining the Obama-Biden Administration, she was a legal aid attorney in the Southwest protecting the rights of migrant farm workers, and she is an alumna of the AmeriCorps program.
A New York City native who is fluent in Spanish, Pino is the first-generation daughter of immigrant parents and first college graduate in her family. She completed her B.A., M.A., and J.D. at Arizona State University with honors, and Harvard Kennedy School leadership program as a National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow.