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Partner, The Messina Group

Jennifer's role in The Messina Group guides the firm’s expertise in and deep commitment to its growing healthcare and tech practices.

Jennifer brings more than twenty years of extensive public and private health policy experience in state and federal government administration and delivery, spanning political parties and three gubernatorial administrations. As Director of the California Department of Health Care Services, she led the second-largest public healthcare system in the nation with an annual budget of over $100 billion and serving approximately 13 million Californians. She oversaw the administration of 24 managed care plans and 56 county behavioral health plans and acted as a consigliere to lawmakers at the highest levels and a bridge to the private sector. She also held various leadership roles in the state’s Health & Human Services Agency and Governor’s Office.

A few of her notable accomplishments in government include: In 2010, she served as the Governor’s lead policy and strategic advisor on California’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the creation of the state health exchange legislation (Covered California) and other federal health reform measures. She led the development and negotiation with the federal government to adopt early provisions of the Affordable Care Act through a Section 1115 Waiver and secure $10 billion in new federal funding. She also successfully developed and renegotiated the State’s 1115 waiver in 2015 with CMS that authorized California-focused program modifications such as a global payment program, safety-net redesign initiatives, as well as obtaining $7 billion in new federal funding and creating a new national model for substance use disorder. She implemented several integration initiatives such as Whole Person Care and Whole Child Model to deliver enhanced primary care services using innovative and cost-effective mechanisms. And she negotiated three multi-billion-dollar managed care tax proposals over her career with support from industry, elected officials, and the federal government.

Her private sector leadership includes advising front-page news companies, executives, and boards on how to do well while also doing good. Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s College of California and her MPA from The University of Southern California.