Deputy Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Chris Stenrud was sworn in as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on September 7, 2010. In this role, Chris manages media affairs for the department, including press relations and online outreach. He also oversees communications for HHS agencies involved in public health including the FDA, CDC, NIH and the Public Health Service. He previously served as a special assistant for communications in HHS public affairs during the Clinton Administration.
Chris rejoined HHS from Kaiser Permanente, where he served as director of health policy communications and before that, communications director for the office of the CEO. At Kaiser, Chris managed all external and internal communication activities involving CEO George Halvorson, who leads the organization’s health plan and hospital system covering 8.5 million lives. Chris oversaw several major communications projects including the roll out of George’s two most recent books, Health Care Will Not Reform Itself and Health Care Reform Now!
Chris also spent time on Capitol Hill as staff director for the Democratic Communications Committee in the U.S. Senate under Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). In the Senate, Chris coordinated message and outreach efforts for Senate Democrats on issues ranging from drug re-importation to implementation of the 9/11-commission report.
Outside of government, Chris has served in senior positions with several nationally-recognized public relations agencies including Golin Harris, GMMB and GYMR. Additionally, Chris has worked on several statewide and national political campaigns including Clinton/Gore ’92 & ‘96 and Boxer for Senate ‘98.
Chris earned his undergraduate degree from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.