Lisa J. Pino is the New HHS’ Office for Civil Rights Director

Lisa J. Pino is now the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR). She replaced Robinsue Frohboese, who was the acting OCR Director after the resignation of Roger Severino in the middle of January.

It is the primary responsibility of OCR to ensure that covered entities comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security, Privacy, and Breach Notification Rules, Patient Safety Rule, and the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act, in addition to the enforcement of federal civil rights, conscience, and religious freedom legislation.

Pino from New York City speaks Spanish and is the first-generation daughter of immigrant parents. She finished her B.A., M.A., and J.D. at Arizona State University with honors. Then, she took a leadership program at Harvard Kennedy School as a National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow.

Pino was a legal aid lawyer in the Southwest, fighting for migrant farm workers’ rights. Her civil rights activities continued as she worked for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and USDA Deputy Administrator of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

While working at the USDA, Pino drafted USDA’s first gender identity anti-discrimination program rules as well as its first USDA limited English proficiency guidance. She played a major role in making sure that minority farmers get their benefits granted via class action settlements with her guidance of the outreach and engagement activities of the USDA.

Pino was also a senior executive service appointed by President Barack Obama and worked as Senior Counselor at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). There, she took a major function in the mitigation of the biggest federal data breach ever, the hacking of the information of 4 million federal employees and 22 million surrogate profiles in 2015, by negotiating again the 700 vendor procurements and the setting up of new cybersecurity regulatory program.

Lately, Pino worked as New York State Department of Health’s Executive Deputy Commissioner, which is the agency’s second top executive position. During this time, Pino led the New York’s operational COVID-19 pandemic response and the program development for Medicare, Medicaid, Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Wadsworth Laboratories, Hospital and Alternative Care Facility, AIDS Institute, Center for Environmental Health, and Center for Community Health.

Lisa is an outstanding public servant. Her range of experience and administration expertise, in particular her work in improving civil rights laws and policy at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the time of the Obama-Biden Administration, is going to help make sure that the rights of each individual throughout the country are protected.