Press release

CMS Announces Director of Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO); First-Ever Chief Dental Officer; and Director of the Center for Program Integrity (CPI)

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Dr. Ellen Montz as Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO); Dr. Natalia Chalmers as its first-ever Chief Dental Officer in the Office of the Administrator; and Dara Corrigan as Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Program Integrity (CPI). With decades of expertise in the clinic, government, and community, these leaders will lead across the agency’s portfolio of programs, which connect millions of people to high-quality, affordable, and accessible health coverage. Dr. Montz, Dr. Chalmers, and Ms. Corrigan start on Monday, August 30. 

“As we work to deliver the Biden-Harris Build Back Better agenda, CMS is delighted to charge these key leaders with building on the Affordable Care Act, advancing oral health, and ensuring policy is implemented to the highest standard,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Dr. Ellen Montz’s wealth of experience in government and policy will be critical as CMS works to deliver high quality, affordable health coverage and increase transparency around health care costs. Dental health is vital to overall health, and that’s why CMS has appointed its first-ever Chief Dental Officer. As a board-certified pediatric dentist, policy expert, and public health advocate, Dr. Natalie Chalmers will guide CMS in advancing oral health in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Marketplace and Medicare. Dara Corrigan returns to CMS with experience advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority to strengthen and accelerate important gains under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will be charged with ensuring that work continues with integrity in her new role. CMS is grateful to have these colleagues as leaders among equals on the march to affordable, accessible, high-quality care—a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration.”

Dr. Ellen Montz: Deputy Administrator and Director, CCIIO

At CCIIO, which manages and the federal insurance Marketplace, Dr. Montz will continue the charge for affordable, accessible health coverage on the tailwinds of the recent special enrollment period. Dr. Montz previously served as chief deputy and chief health economist at Virginia’s state Medicaid department, playing a central role in the state’s Medicaid expansion, pandemic response, and investment in value-based care, particularly for underserved communities. 

Dr. Montz also served in several roles during the Obama-Biden Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she focused on implementing provisions of the ACA, as well as with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. A native Texan, Dr. Montz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University, a master of public affairs degree from the LBJ School at the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in health policy economics from Harvard University.

Dr. Natalia Chalmers: Chief Dental Officer

In her role as CMS’s chief dental officer, Dr. Chalmers will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to care for the whole person, a key to reducing health disparities and advancing health equity. Dr. Chalmers is a board-certified pediatric dentist, oral health policy expert, and public health advocate who brings more than 20 years of clinical, research, industry, and regulatory experience to CMS. Previously, Dr. Natalia Chalmers served as a Dental Officer at the US Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Chalmers’ passion for pediatric dentistry began early when she saw the devastating effects of poor oral health in her elderly patients, and decided to devote her energy to understanding the disease process and the most efficient and effective prevention strategies. Since completing her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Medical University of Sofia, a residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and a Ph.D. in oral microbiology from the Graduate Partnerships Program of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Chalmers worked to transform health care data and information into actionable insights to address equity, improve care, and better inform policy and funding. Additionally, Dr. Chalmers holds a Master's degree in Clinical Research from Duke Medical University and a Certificate in Drug Development and Regulatory Science from the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy.  Her  research has translated into action improving oral care and advocating for the role health policy can play across the lifespan—particularly when it embraces dental well-being as a facet of care for the whole person. 

Dara Corrigan: Deputy Administrator and Director, CPI

Corrigan returns to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), home to CMS, as a deputy administrator and director of CPI, which protects Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP—the nation’s largest insurers—from fraud, waste, and abuse. Corrigan most recently served as a vice president at Fresenius Kabi, a global health care company and has more than 20 years of government experience, including tenure as associate commissioner for global regulatory policy at FDA. 

Corrigan returns to CMS with experience to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority to strengthen and accelerate important gains under the ACA. Corrigan previously drafted regulations under the ACA to overhaul the private insurance markets, served as the acting inspector general at HHS, and practiced law at the Department of Justice for nearly a decade. Combined with her private sector experience, she adds to CPI a deep knowledge of health care systems, drug development, safety/quality issues, and the challenges facing private and public payors—a powerful combination for preventing fraud and abuse. Corrigan received her juris doctorate from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate degree from Baylor University.