CMS Leadership

Office of Communications

Karen Aldana

Deputy Director

Karen Aldana serves as the Deputy Director, Office of Communications for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. In her current position, she is Washington D.C. based and is responsible for driving the vision and overall strategy of the public relations function, which includes teams across several OC groups.

Prior to joining CMS, Ms. Aldana served as the Public Affairs Director, Office of Communications and Consumer Information for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) where she was responsible for overseeing the agency’s strategic communication and media outreach efforts. She led and coordinated communications for technically complex issues with large national and international media and public interest. The division was responsible for representing and promoting the safety agency, its policies and safety programs.

Before NHTSA, Ms. Aldana served as a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA). During her tenure there, she was responsible for promoting transit projects across the nation. Most notably, FTA’s Lower Manhattan Recovery program, aimed at expediently fixing the transit systems destroyed in New York City in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.  

Before moving to Washington D.C., Ms. Aldana worked in New York City as an Account Executive at RLM Public Relations, and prior to that, ExcitePR, promoting a wide-range of clients, including start-up companies, grassroots organizations, authors and products. She was in New York City on 9/11 and experienced first-hand the fear, devastation and toll it had on the city. Her experience inspired her to pursue a career with the federal government to serve the public.

Ms. Aldana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.