CMS Leadership

Office of Strategic Operations & Regulatory Affairs

Kathleen Cantwell


Kathleen Cantwell is Director of the Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs (OSORA). Kathleen provides leadership and advocacy on behalf of senior CMS/HHS officials regarding policy and regulatory matters. She manages CMS's decision-making process involving the resolution of complex policy issues and critical CMS systems including the development, clearance and publication of regulations, issuances, executive correspondence, Freedom of Information Act requests, Federal Advisory Committees and reports to Congress. She also provides management and administrative support to the Office of the Attorney Advisor.

Kathleen previously served within HHS in the Executive Secretariat Office of the Office of the Secretary from 2006 – 2012.  In her capacity as the CMS Team Leader/Senior Policy Coordinator, Kathleen advised the Executive Secretary and other senior Departmental officials on significant CMS policy matters, including key Affordable Care Act decisions and regulatory documents.  From 2000 – 2006, Kathleen served as the Director of Federal Legislative Affairs and Government Affairs Counsel at a national pharmacists association, where she worked as a liaison to Congress during the passage and implementation of the Medicare Part D benefit.  Kathleen earned a BS from Union College in Schenectady, New York and a JD from the Washington College of Law at American University.


Kerrian Reynolds

Deputy Director

Kerrian Reynolds is the Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs (OSORA). Kerrian works with the Director to provide leadership and overall management of OSORA internal operations such as human resources, budget, contracts, information systems, and other administrative programs. Prior to being appointed as the OSORA Deputy at CMS, she served as a Senior Advisor in the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), where she spearheaded development of new programs focused on customer engagement, organizational redesign, and continuous improvement.

Kerrian joined HHS after serving over 10 years at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in a variety of national and local roles. At VA headquarters in Washington D.C., she developed and implemented national nursing policy, supported operations and management of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities across the Nation, and created efficiencies in various internal operations processes. At the Durham VA Health System in Durham, NC, she advised on and implemented clinical and administrative operations issues and quality initiatives, such as inpatient flow, activation of a new Emergency Department, and hospital governance redesign. She later served there as the Deputy Chief of facility acquisitions and logistics, overseeing all hospital equipment and supply procurement, inventory management, and distribution activities. She also oversaw development and execution of product and service contracts, major product upgrade and improvement initiatives, and internal business audits.

Kerrian is a graduate of Emory University, receiving an MPH in Health Services Administration from the Rollins School of Public Health, and a BS in Biological Anthropology.


OSORA Functional Statement

  • Manages CMS’ decision-making and regulatory process.
  • Serves in a neutral broker coordination role which includes: scheduling meetings and briefings for the Administrator and coordinating communications between and among central and regional offices to ensure that emerging issues are identified early, all concerned components are directly and fully involved in policy development/decision making, and that all points of view are presented.
  • Provides leadership, direction, and advocacy, on behalf of top CMS officials in connection with official policy matters for presentation to the Administrator and Principal Deputy Administrator to insure that all points of view and program interests of concern to the Administrator and Principal Deputy Administrator are developed and properly presented for consideration. Reviews policy statements by component Directors and others to anticipate potential problems or inconsistencies with views of the Administrator, Principal Deputy Administrator, and the Administration. Assists in resolving these matters to the satisfaction of CMS and top management.
  • Manages meeting requests for or on behalf of the Administrator and Principal Deputy Administrator. Coordinates the preparation of briefing materials for the Administrator, Principal Deputy Administrator, and the Department in advance of the Administrator and Principal Deputy Administrator’s participation in meetings, appointments with major groups, etc. Works with CMS components to assure that appropriate briefing materials are presented to Senior Leadership. Senior officials in CMS and the Department, as well as officials of other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and outside interest groups attend these meetings.
  • Coordinates the preparation of manuals and other policy instructions to ensure accurate and consistent implementation of CMS’ programs.
  • Manages CMS’ system for developing, clearing and tracking regulations, setting regulation priorities and corresponding work agendas; coordinates the review of regulations received for concurrence from departmental and other government agencies, and develops routine and special reports on CMS’ regulatory activities.
  • Manages the regulations development process to ensure timely decision making by the Administrator and Principal Deputy Administrator on CMS regulations.
  • Provides leadership and management of CMS’ Executive Correspondence system.
  • Operates the CMS-wide correspondence tracking and control system and provides guidance and technical assistance on standards for content of correspondence and memoranda.
  • Manages the CMS-wide clearance system to ensure appropriate involvement from CMS components and serves as a primary focal point for liaison with the Executive Secretariat in the Office of the Secretary.
  • Provides management and administrative support to the Office of the Attorney Advisor and staff.
  • Monitors and coordinates major CMS legislative initiatives such as tracking the status of CMS’ implementation of the Balance Budget Act, Balanced Budget Refinement Act, and the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act provisions.
  • Coordinates and prepares the advance planning reports for the Secretary and the Administrator.
  • Acts as the liaison with the Office of the Secretary for Reports to Congress and maintains a tracking system to monitor status. Also serves as the CMS liaison with the Small Business Administration’s Office of the National Ombudsman.
  • Conducts activities necessary to the receipt, management, response, and reporting requirements of the Department under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regarding all requests received by CMS.
  • Maintains a log of all FOIA requests received by Central Office, refers requests to the appropriate components within headquarters, the Regions or among carriers and intermediaries for the collection of the documents requested. Makes recommendations and prepares replies to requesters, including denials of information as permitted under FOIA, and drafts briefing materials and responses in connection with appeals of denial decisions.
  • Directs the maintaining and amending of CMS-wide records for confidentiality and disclosure to the Privacy Act to include: planning, organizing, initiating and controlling privacy matching assignments.
  • Provides direct services and develops policy, standards, and procedures for CMS' records, management and vital records program for all CMS Central and Regional Offices.
Page Last Modified:
09/06/2023 09:02 PM