CMS Leadership

Office of Communications

Bruce Alexander


Bruce Alexander is the Director of the Office of Communications (OC) for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In this role, he oversees the development and execution of the Agency’s communications strategy. Bruce has a wealth of knowledge and experience in public affairs, media relations, community outreach and strategic communications.

Prior to joining CMS, Mr. Alexander served as the Vice President of Communications and Outreach for Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that serves veterans and their families in their time of need. There he provided direction for the organization’s strategic communications plans, crisis communications, content management, media and community outreach, and stakeholder messaging.

Mr. Alexander also served as the Director of Communications and Governmental Affairs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. In this role he was responsible for the oversight, planning, direction, and evaluation of the agency’s initiatives to inform and engage stakeholders, the media, Congress, and the general public.

A retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Mr. Alexander was previously responsible for directing the communications program at Andrews Air Force Base, the highest-profile U.S. military installation in the National Capital Region. There he provided direct support to the President and Vice President, Cabinet, Congress, Department of Defense, and U.S. Air Force leaders. He has held several command positions at the flight, squadron and group level throughout his military career.

Among Mr. Alexander’s many accomplishments during his time with the U.S. Air Force was his role as the chief of the external media division for the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee where he planned and directed media coverage for all White House-sanctioned events during the 2005 Presidential Inauguration.

Mr. Alexander earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from The Citadel, and a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Central Michigan University. He also is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College, the Defense Information Joint School of Journalism, and Harvard Kennedy School’s Executive Leadership Program.


Mary Wallace

Deputy Director for Operations

Mary Wallace is the Deputy Director for Operations of the Office of Communications (OC) within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. OC serves as the focal point for strategic and tactical communications for CMS programs delivering healthcare to millions of Americans. Ms. Wallace provides leadership over daily operations and executive direction in the areas of program analysis, customer service, acquisition strategy and financial management.

Ms. Wallace has been with CMS since 1999. She began her career in the Center for Beneficiary Services working on project planning and financial management for the implementation of the National Medicare Education Program. She subsequently led a variety of projects including the implementation of a Knowledge Management web portal for the agency.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Wallace served as the Deputy Director in the Office of Beneficiary Services, providing leadership in the areas of financial analysis and contract management. Ms. Wallace also led several special projects which improved the performance and efficiency of CMS’ customer service programs.


Karen Aldana

Deputy Director for Communications

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. 

Page Last Modified:
08/18/2022 01:14 PM