FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2011
Contact: HHS Press Office
Leon Rodriguez Appointed Director HHS Office for Civil Rights
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that Leon Rodriguez has been appointed as director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). As the department’s civil rights and health privacy rights law enforcement agency, OCR investigates complaints filed by the public and provides technical assistance and public education to ensure understanding of and compliance with federal nondiscrimination and health information privacy laws. Rodriguez most recently served as chief of staff and deputy assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
“Leon Rodriguez brings a strong record of integrity, leadership, and judgment with his outstanding expertise as a state and federal prosecutor,” said HHS Secretary Sebelius. “He has devoted his career to ensuring that individuals have access to health care, including children and families, the elderly and people with disabilities. He will also spearhead the department’s continued work to ensure greater consumer confidence through strong and effective enforcement of the privacy and security of protected health information.”
From May 2007 to January 2010, Rodriguez served as the county attorney for Montgomery County, Md., where he led efforts to provide legal advice and services to county departments, agencies, boards, and commissions, as well as the County Council.
From May 2001 to May 2007, he was a shareholder in the Health Law department of Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver. In 2004, Rodriguez was named “Outstanding Health Care Litigator” by Nightingale Health Care News. While in private practice, he served on the board of the Montgomery County Primary Care Coalition, an organization that developed and implemented health care programs for uninsured county residents.
For 13 years prior to entering private practice, Rodriguez was a federal and state prosecutor in various jurisdictions. From 1997 to 2001, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh, Pa., assigned to the prosecution of health care fraud cases. Leon served as the first assistant U.S. attorney from 1999-2001, and as the chief of the White Collar Crimes Section from 1998-1999. From 1994 – 1997, he served as a trial attorney in the Criminal Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Prior to his first DOJ tour, he was an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y. for six years.
Leon Rodriguez is a graduate of Brown University and Boston College Law School and is fluent in Spanish and French.
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Last revised: September 16, 2011