Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging
Lance Robertson was appointed to serve as Assistant Secretary for Aging and ACL's Administrator on August 11, 2017.
His vision for ACL focuses on five pillars: supporting families and caregivers, protecting rights and preventing abuse, connecting people to resources, expanding employment opportunities, and strengthening the aging and disability networks.
His leadership in the fields of aging and disability began in Oklahoma, where he served for 10 years as the Director of Aging Services within the state’s Department of Human Services. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Oklahoma State University, where he co-founded the Gerontology Institute and served as the executive director of the nation's largest regional gerontology association.
Lance earned his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma State University and a master of public administration degree from the University of Central Oklahoma, and he is a veteran of the United States Army.
Principal Deputy Administrator
President Trump appointed Mary Lazare to serve as ACL’s Principal Deputy Administrator on June 19, 2017.
Ms. Lazare comes to ACL from St. Louis, Missouri, where she most recently served as Vice President for Home- and Community-Based Services for Lutheran Senior Services. With master’s degrees in both management and gerontology and an extensive career in long-term care and community health operations, she combines hands-on program-level knowledge with strategic planning and organizational development expertise, and has led organizations in delivering quality services and advocating for the people they serve while adhering to sound stewardship principles.
Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities
Melissa Ortiz believes that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of disability. Her mission is to provide people with disabilities with the necessary tools and supports to live independently. Her belief is that these fundamental rights are woven into our national fabric.
In her role as Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities, she is enthusiastic about working on behalf of Americans with disabilities. She has worked in the classroom in Nashville, Tennessee, in the nonprofit sector in Washington, DC and New York City, on a number of political campaigns around the country, and has bent the ear of some of the country’s most powerful leaders in the process.
She identifies as a “happy patriot” and is committed to driving a dialogue between both sides of the political aisle and people with disabilities. She is uniquely suited to bridge the gap between these groups and is passionate about creating solutions. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her husband Tony and service dog dachshund, Annie Oakley.
Deputy Administrator for Management and Budget
As Deputy Administrator for Management and Budget, Mr. Berger serves as the Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and oversees the administration of ACL’s financial resources; discretionary and mandatory grants; information technology and telecommunications; procurement and facilities services; personnel and human capital development; and internal control activities. Under his leadership, the Center for Management and Budget is responsible for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ACL’s operations and providing effective administrative services to support ACL’s programs.
Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Berger served in a variety of budget and management positions in HHS. Management positions at AoA included Director of the Center for Management and Budget, Director of the Office of Management Analysis and Resources, and Director of the Office of Information Resources Management. He entered federal service as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1997 and spent 8 years as a budget analyst in the Office of the Secretary and AoA.
He received a Master of Public Administration degree from Northeastern University and bachelor’s degrees in history and politics from Brandeis University. He resides in Fairfax, Virginia, with his wife and three children.
Director, Center for Policy and Evaluation
As the Director of the Center for Policy and Evaluation (CPE), Vicki Gottlich oversees the coordination of effort across ACL program offices to manage the evaluation of, and reporting on, the performance of ACL programs; the provision of technical assistance on performance measurement to ACL grantees; and assisting ACL’s organizational units in developing operational plans that include measurable objectives and performance indicators.
Prior to serving as the Director of CPE, Ms. Gottlich served as a senior advisor to Sharon Lewis, Principal Deputy Administrator (ACL), focusing on policy issues involving health insurance and Long-Term Social Services (LTSS). Ms. Gottlich came to ACL from the Centers for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where she headed the Consumer Support Group (CSG). CSG certified assistance counselor programs for the private Marketplaces; implemented and oversaw external appeals procedures; and implemented and oversaw the summary of benefits and coverage, which provides consumers with standardized information about private health insurance plans.
Before joining HHS in 2011, Ms. Gottlich worked as an attorney and beneficiary advocate for older people and people with disabilities, engaging in policy work, litigation, and administrative advocacy. She focused on issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, LTSS, adult guardianship and end-of-life decision making. Ms. Gottlich is the author of numerous articles regarding Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and private health insurance.
Ms. Gottlich has a Juris Doctor degree from New York University and a Master of Laws in urban legal studies from George Washington University Law School.
Acting Director, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
Dr. Kristi Hill serves as the Acting Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research.
As a research administrator and program manager for nearly two decades, Dr. Hill has worked to drive policy change and increase community living options and opportunities for people for disabilities and other disadvantaged and underserved groups. She began her federal career in 2001, serving in a variety of programmatic roles at NIDILRR. In 2005, she moved to the U.S. Department of Education as the Director of Small Business Programs, where she developed the agency’s program to improve opportunities, competitiveness, and participation of small and disadvantaged businesses in grant and contract programs. As a result, the agency tripled the dollars awarded to these businesses, and the department received its first “A” rating on the Small Business Administration’s Scorecard.
Since her return in 2012 to NIDILRR as the Deputy Director, she has helped to implement the Director’s strategic vision, and manages the Institute’s day to day operations. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research.
Dr. Hill earned a PhD in neuroscience from the Medical College of Virginia. She has published in peer reviewed journals and contributed to the development of book chapters, educational tools and training materials for research and clinical professionals, service providers, and people with disabilities. She also has also served on the editorial boards of several national journals and local publications.
Outside of NIDILRR, Dr. Hill is an active advocate, mentor, and motivational speaker who embraces every opportunity to work with newly disabled veterans, advocate in her community for programming and services, and educate the public about the issues faced by people with disabilities. She lives in Port Tobacco, Maryland with her husband and three children.
Acting Deputy Administrator, Center for Integrated Programs
As the Acting Deputy Administrator for the Center for Integrated Programs Mr. Josh Hodges oversees ACL’s administration of programs and initiatives that serve both older adults and people with disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers, including consumer access and protection programs, as well as programs and initiatives that promote the use of self-directed and person-centered service models.
Mr. Hodges joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2010, and most recently served as Director of the Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling, overseeing the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, the Senior Medicare Patrol program, and the Medicare Improvements for Patients & Providers Act program. Earlier in his career, he worked as a management consultant across more than a dozen federal agencies assisting them with reorganizations, strategic planning, and business process improvements.
He earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science in political science from West Texas A&M University.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging
As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging of the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living, Mr. Edwin L. Walker serves as the chief career official for the federal agency responsible for advocating on behalf of older Americans.
In this capacity, he guides and promotes the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies, and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life. This includes the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness.
A strong and experienced advocate for older persons, he has served as the primary liaison with Congress on legislation related to aging services and programs. For more than 30 years, he has been characterized as a consummate professional civil servant who can be relied upon to represent the best interests of our nation’s senior citizens.
Prior to joining the Administration on Aging, Mr. Walker served as the Director of the Missouri Division of Aging, responsible for administering a comprehensive set of human service programs for older persons and adults with disabilities.
He received a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University. A proud grandfather, he resides in Fort Washington, Maryland.
Director, Independent Living Administration
Bob Williams joined ACL in January 2016 as the Director of the Independent Living Administration.
Active in disability rights since high school, Williams came to Washington, DC, to go to college and has lived and worked here for over three decades. Most recently, he served as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the Social Security Administration. In that role, he led several interagency initiatives to create greater opportunities in career paths, employment, and economic mobility for people with significant disabilities. He continues to advance those goals here at ACL.
In earlier roles, Williams headed SSA’s Office of Employment Support Programs and has advised the Kaiser Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and other organizations on policy issues affecting the health, independence and economic well-being of people of all ages with disabilities. He also served as the Commissioner on Developmental Disabilities and then as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy at HHS. He also helped gain the passage of the ADA and to create community living services and supports to children and adults once consigned to Forest Haven, the District of Columbia’s institution for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.