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Dora Hughes

Dora Hughes, MD, MPH, was named the Acting Chief Medical Officer and Acting Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in July 2023. CCSQ is primarily responsible for executing all national clinical, quality, and safety standards for healthcare facilities and providers, as well as establishing coverage determinations for items and services that improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries. 

 Previously, Dr. Hughes served as Chief Medical Officer at the CMS Innovation Center. She led the Center’s work on health equity, advised on care delivery, payment and data collection strategies for the Center’s models and initiatives, and represented CMS on clinical and cross-agency working groups within HHS.  

Earlier in her career, Dr. Hughes served as the Counselor for Science & Public Health to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the US Department of Health & Human Services. In this role, she helped with passage and early implementation of the Affordable Care Act and provided oversight and guidance on priority issues regarding public health and prevention; workforce and the safety net; food, drug and device regulatory matters; and biomedical research innovation. 

In addition to federal service, Dr. Hughes was an Associate Research Professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, where her work focused on the intersection of clinical and community health, health equity, healthcare delivery and teaching. She remains on faculty at GWU’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Hughes also has served as Senior Policy Advisor at Sidley Austin, where she advised on regulatory and legislative matters in the life science industry.  

Dr. Hughes began her career in health policy as Senior Program Officer at the Commonwealth Fund, and subsequently as Deputy Director for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee under Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She then served as the Health Policy Advisor to former Senator Barack Obama. 

Dr. Hughes received a BS from Washington University, MD from Vanderbilt and MPH from Harvard. She completed internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. 

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