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The Office of Tribal Affairs was established in 2000 to serve as the official first point of contact for Tribes, Tribal Governments, and Tribal Organizations wishing to access the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Organizationally, the Office of Tribal Affairs is situated within the Immediate Office of the Secretary, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) and is the Departments’ lead office for Tribal Consultation in accordance with Executive Order 13175- Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. Other duties and responsibilities of the Office of Tribal Affairs include:

  • Coordination and management of IGA's tribal and native policy issues and serves as the Department's expert and informational resource to the Secretary
  • Provides executive direction for the Secretary's Intradepartmental Council on Native American Affairs (ICNAA)
  • Collaboration and outreach to Tribes and national Native organizations
  • Coordination of HHS participation in national Tribal meetings and Tribal site visits for HHS executive leadership
  • Advice and assistance to the HHS Regional Directors  and Senior staff on tribal affairs
  • Coordination of the Secretary's policy development for Tribes and national Native organizations


HHS Tribal Liaisons

HHS has Tribal Liaison located within each Staff Divisions and Operating Divisions. The Liaison's role is to serve as a primary point of contact for American Indians, Alaska Native, and Native American tribal governments and national Native organizations to facilitate communication and accessing Operating and Staff Divisions resources.

 Staff Divisions


Office Name

Role in HHS

Tribal Liaison

Contact Information

Immediate Office of the Secretary/
Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IOS/IGA)

IGA facilitates communication regarding HHS initiatives as they relate to state, local, and tribal governments.

Stacey Ecoffey,
Principal Advisor for Tribal Affairs

PH (202) 690-6060
FAX (202) 401-3207

Immediate Office of the Secretary/
Executive Secretariat (IOS/ES)

ES is responsible for reviewing and clearing documents designed for the Secretary's, Deputy Secretary's, and Chief of Staff's attention and approval, such as correspondence, regulations, reports to Congress, and decision memos.

Janice Cotter,
Policy Coordinator

PH (202) 205-6380
FAX (202) 205-2135

Office of the Secretary/
Assistant Secretary for Health (OS/ASH)

ASH serves as the Secretary's primary advisor on matters involving the nation's public health and the Public Health Service.

Garth Graham,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Minority Health)

PH (240) 453-2882
FAX (240) 453-2883

Office of the Secretary/
Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OS/ASAM)

ASAM provides leadership for HHS human resource policy, grants management, acquisitions, and departmental operations.

Catherine Backmeyer,
Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Management & Administration

PH (202) 205-5914
FAX (202) 401-5209

Office of the Secretary/
Assistant Secretary for Resources and  Technology (OS/ASRT)

ASBTF provides advice and guidance to the Secretary on budget, financial management, and information technology, and provides direction and coordination of these activities throughout the Department.


Amanda Jonas,
Program Analyst

PH (202) 690-5616
FAX (202) 690-6896

Office of the Secretary/
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (OS/ASPE)

ASPE is the principal advisor to the Secretary on policy development and is responsible for policy coordination, legislation development, strategic planning, policy research and evaluation, and economic analysis.

Peggy Halpern,
Program Analyst

PH (202) 260-0285
FAX (202) 401-6562

Office of the Secretary/ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OS/ASPE/FBCI)

FBCI’s focus is on improving human services for the country's neediest citizens and welcomes the participation of faith-based and community-based organizations as valued and essential partners.

Greg Morris,
Associate Director

PH (202) 401-3055
FAX (202) 401-3462

Office of the Secretary/
Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs (OS/ASPA)

ASPA serves as the Secretary's principal counsel on public affairs matters, provides centralized leadership and guidance for public affairs activities within the Department, and administers the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act.

Confidential Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs

PH (202) 205-1314
FAX (202) 690-5673

Office of the Secretary/
Assistant Secretary for  Preparedness and Response (OS/ASPR)

ASPHEP serves as the Secretary's principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

Dan Dodgen,
Human Services Policy Coordinator

PH (202) 260-1949
FAX (202) 260-6056

Office of the Secretary/
Office of General Council (OS/OGC)

OGC provides quality representation and legal advice on a wide range of highly visible national issues.

Julia Pierce,

Hilary Frierson,

PH (301) 443-0406
FAX (301) 480-2161

PH (301) 443-1137
FAX (301) 480-2161

Office of the Secretary/
Office of the Inspector General

OIG protect the integrity of HHS programs, as well as the health and welfare of the beneficiaries of those programs.

Melinda Golub,
Supervisory Auditor

Amitava (Jay) Mazumdar,
Senior Counsel

PH (202) 205-9428
FAX (202) 205-9758

PH (202) 401-4049
FAX (202) 205-9758

Office of the Secretary/
Office for Civil Rights (OS/OCR)

OCR promotes and ensures that people have equal access to and opportunity to participate in and receive services in all HHS programs without facing unlawful discrimination.

Robinsue Frohboese,
Principal Deputy Director

Mary Graves

PH (202) 619-0403
FAX (202) 619-3437

PH (202) 619-3320
FAX (202) 619-1333


Operating Divisions


Office Name

Role in HHS

Tribal Liaison

Contact Information

Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

ACF is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities.

Sheila Cooper,
Director Program Operations Division, Administration on Native Americans

PH (877) 929-9ANA
PH (202) 690-5787
FAX (202) 690-7441

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

AHRQ’s mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans.

Wendy Perry,
Senior Program Analyst

PH (301) 427-1216
FAX (301) 443-0251

Administration on Aging (AoA)

AoA is one of the nation's largest providers of home- and community-based care for older persons and their caregivers.

Yvonne Jackson,
Director, Office of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Programs

PH (202) 357-3501
FAX (202) 357-3560

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease (ATSDR)

ATSDR mission is to serve the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.

Leslie Campbell, Environmental Health Scientist

Kristina Larson,
Health Education Specialist

PH (404) 498-0457
FAX (404) 498-0073


PH (404) 498-0527
FAX (404) 498-1744

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships.

Ralph Bryan, Senior CDC Tribal Liaison

Pelagie “Mike” Snesrud, Senior CDC Tribal Liaison for Policy and Evaluation

Walter W. Williams, Associate Director for Minority Health

PH (505) 248-4142
FAX (505) 248-4393

PH (404) 498-2343
FAX (404) 498-2355


PH (404) 498-2310
FAX (404) 498-2360

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

CMS’s mission is to assure health care security for beneficiaries.

Dorothy Dupree,
Director, Tribal Affairs

Priya Helweg, Policy Analyst

PH (410) 786-1942
FAX (410) 786-1424

PH (410) 786-6128
FAX (410) 786-1424

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA’s mission is to improve and expand access to quality health care for all.

Tanya Pagan-Raggio
Office of Minority Health

PH (301) 443-2964
FAX (301) 443-7853

Indian Health Service (IHS)

IHS’s mission is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.

Leo Nolan, 
Senior Policy Analyst

Rae Jones,
Associate Director for Direct Services

PH (301) 443-7261
FAX (301) 443-4794

PH (301) 443-1104
FAX (301) 443-4666

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH is the steward of medical and behavioral research for the Nation.

John Ruffin,
Associate Director for Research on Minority Health

Lisa Evans, J.D.,
Senior Advisor for Policy, National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities

PH (301) 402-1366
FAX (301) 402-7040

PH (301) 594-8748
FAX (301) 480-4049

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA is charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses.

Senior Advisor, Tribal Affairs

PH (240) 276-2204
FAX (240) 276-2240


Regional Representatives



Office Name

Tribal Liaison

Contact Information

Region 10: Seattle

Office of the Secretary/Intergovernmental Affairs

Susan Johnson,
Regional Director

PH (206) 615-2010
FAX (206) 615-2087

Region 6: Dallas

Administration on Children and Families

Lisa Blackmon-Hansard,
Tribal Program Specialist

PH (214) 767-8129
FAX (214) 767-8124

Content last reviewed on July 10, 2006