Maura Calsyn '95
Hamilton offers a plethora of opportunities for students to discover their passions. For Maura Calsyn ’95, it was a semester in Washington, D.C., that started her on her career path. Today she is deputy assistant secretary for health policy at the U.S. Department of Health Human Services (HHS) where her work deals with a wide variety of public health issues, including the long-term effects of COVID-19. 

“I participated in Hamilton’s Washington, D.C., program during the debate about President Clinton’s health care plan, so when I was first in Washington and working on the Hill, healthcare was a very exciting topic,” Calsyn said.

After graduation, Calsyn moved back to DC and took a job with a political consulting firm; however, it wasn’t long before she began working on the Hill for California congresswoman Anna Eshoo. After earning her J.D. at Harvard Law School, Caslyn joined the Office of the General Counsel at HHS where she served as her department’s lead attorney for several Medicare programs and advised the department on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Calsyn’s commitment to health care next took her to the Center for American Progress (CAP) where she eventually served as vice president for health policy, leading the organization’s health policy development and advocacy work. She has testified before Congress and published extensively on topics including Medicare and Medicaid payment reform, health care transparency, and trends in employer-sponsored insurance. She also established CAP’s public health program, which works across the organization to address structural public health challenges and advance health equity.

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Having recently started in her new role at HHS, Calsyn noted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has “expanded my work from primarily thinking about how the medical care system works to thinking more broadly about public health, the non-medical factors that affect health and pandemic preparedness.” This shift has allowed her to work on projects designed to advance health equity among those who are most at risk.


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