Dr. Charmaine Yoest is the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs (ASPA). As Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Dr. Yoest provides executive leadership, policy direction, and management strategy for the Department’s public affairs programs and activities.
Dr. Yoest advises the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and other senior HHS leadership, as well as White House officials on major Departmental and Administration issues. This includes policy matters, legislative initiatives, regulations proposals and program objectives. In this role, she serves as Secretarial surrogate throughout the public and private sector to both represent the views of the Administration and the Secretary, and to inform and educate various audiences, managing public affairs issues and special activities that cut across Operating Divisions.
As an author, writer, and spokesperson with an expertise in public policy, she has a track record serving in many facets of political life — in the White House, on a presidential campaign, and leading a national nonprofit.
Dr. Yoest is an author, writer, and spokesperson with extensive experience in public policy. She began her career working in the West Wing of the White House for President Ronald Reagan and later served as Senior Advisor to the Governor Huckabee’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. Most recently, she was a Senior Fellow at American Values and had previously served as President and CEO of Americans United for Life.
Dr. Yoest received her B.A. in Political Science from Wheaton College and, after the White House, studied ethics and philosophy at Oxford University. Later, she earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where she received Mellon, Olin, Bradley and Kohler fellowships.