Cara V. James, PhD

Dr. James is the Director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Minority Health (OMH), and co-chair of the CMS Rural Health Council.  She is a nationally recognized expert in health disparities, health equity, and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations. As the Director of the CMS OMH, Dr. James leads CMS’s efforts to meet the unique needs of minority and underserved populations. Under her leadership, CMS developed the first CMS Equity Plan to Improve Quality in Medicare as well as its first Rural Health Strategy, created an ongoing initiative to help individuals understand their coverage and connect to care, and strengthened the quality and increased the collection and reporting of demographic data. Dr. James has served as a member of the National Academies of Medicine (NAM) Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and several other NAM committees including the Committee on Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020.  She has published a number of peer-reviewed articles and other publications, and was a co-author for one of the background chapters for Unequal Treatment. Cara received her Ph.D. in Health Policy and her A.B. in Psychology from Harvard University.