With gratitude and sadness, ACL announces that Principal Deputy Administrator Sharon Lewis will leave ACL at the end of January. James Toews will succeed her in an acting capacity.
For nearly six years, Lewis has provided tireless advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and outstanding leadership to the Department of Health and Human Services. She joined the administration as the Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and was one of the chief architects for the creation of ACL, which brought together under one agency much of the federal government’s work to help people with disabilities and older adults live independently in their communities.
“Sharon’s departure is a real loss to me professionally and personally. From the beginning, she and I have shared the same vision for ACL and the same commitment to the people we serve. Without her, ACL would never have been created,” said ACL Administrator Kathy Greenlee.
James Toews has been with HHS since 2011, first as a senior policy analyst in the HHS Office on Disabilities and then as a senior advisor at ACL. He has spent a significant amount of time working on policy issues at ACL, CMS and the Department of Labor that affect older adults and people with disabilities living in all settings. He is a strong consumer advocate and a skilled policy advisor.
Prior to coming to HHS, Toews worked in the Oregon Department of Human Services, most recently as the director of the Seniors and People with Disabilities Division. With more than 2,000 employees and a budget of $3 billion, his division was responsible for all LTSS services, as well as LTSS policy and budget, Medicaid LTSS budget and operations, licensing and regulatory oversight, and disability determination services.
“I am very pleased that James has agreed to serve as Acting Principal Deputy Administrator after Sharon’s departure,” Greenlee continued. “I have known James for nearly a decade. He knows more about Medicaid HCBS than anyone I know. In every regard I consider him a colleague and peer, and I look forward to working with him even more closely.”