Deputy Secretary (Acting)
Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., serves as the Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Prior to becoming Acting Deputy Secretary, Dr. Wakefield was administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from 2009 to 2015. HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to strengthen the health care workforce, build healthy communities, increase health equity, and provide health care and support services to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable, or live in a health professional shortage area.
Dr. Wakefield joined HRSA from the University of North Dakota (UND), where she was associate dean for rural health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
In the 1990s, she served as chief of staff to two North Dakota senators: Kent Conrad (D) and Quentin Burdick (D).
She also has served as director of the Center for Health Policy, Research and Ethics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and worked on site as a consultant to the World Health Organization's Global Programme on AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. Wakefield is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM). She served on the IOM committee that produced the landmark reports To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm. She also co-chaired the IOM committee that produced the report Health Professions Education and chaired the committee that produced the report Quality through Collaboration: Health Care in Rural America.
In addition, she has served on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, as chair of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as a member of President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry, and as a member of the National Advisory Committee to HRSA's Office of Rural Health Policy.
Dr. Wakefield is a native of Devils Lake, N.D. She has a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Mary in Bismarck and master's and doctoral degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin.
Meet the Staff
Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer
Bryan Sivak joined HHS as the Chief Technology Officer in July 2012. In this role, he is responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation. Previously, Bryan served as the Chief Innovation Officer to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, where he has led Maryland’s efforts to embed concepts of innovation into the DNA of state government. He has distinguished himself in this role as someone who can work creatively across a large government organization to identify and implement the best opportunities for improving the way the government works. Prior to his time with Governor O’Malley, Bryan served as Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia, where he created a technology infrastructure that enhanced communication between the District’s residents and their government, and implemented organizational reforms that improved efficiency, program controls, and customer service. Bryan previously worked in the private sector, co-founding InQuira, Inc., a multi-national software company, in 2002, and Electric Knowledge LLC, which provided one of the world's first Natural Language Search engines available on the web in 1998.
Jarel LaPan, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary
Jarel LaPan joined HHS as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary in January 2009, before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary in 2012. She provides guidance and support to the Deputy Secretary on Secretarial initiatives, department-wide priorities and other mission critical issues. In this role, she coordinates activities with leadership from HHS operating divisions, other federal agencies and the White House on policy and program development. Prior to joining HHS, Jarel worked for two years on the Obama for America campaign, where she managed statewide political operations with a focus on health policy outreach. She has also worked in the Office of the Montana Insurance Commissioner and at GMMB in Washington, DC. Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Jarel is a graduate of The George Washington University with a degree in Political Science.