Mary Wakefield was named administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration by President Barack Obama Feb. 20, 2009. Wakefield was previously at the University of North Dakota, where she served as associate dean for rural health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She was also a tenured professor and director of the university’s Center for Rural Health.
In the 1990s, Wakefield served as chief of staff to North Dakota senators Kent Conrad (D) and Quentin Burdick (D). She also has served as director of the Center for Health Policy, Research and Ethics at George Mason University, and worked as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s Global Programme on AIDS in Geneva, Switzerland.
Wakefield is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2004. She also co-chaired the IOM committee that produced the report Health Professions Education, and chaired the committee that produced the report Quality through Collaboration: Health Care in Rural America.
In addition, she has served on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, as chair of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, as a member of President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry, and as a member of the National Advisory Committee to HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy.