Linda Elam

District of Columbia

Deputy Director, Medicaid (2011-2014)


Linda Elam, PhD, was the deputy director and Medicaid director within the District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) from 2011 to 2014. A cabinet-level agency as of October 2008, DHCF is the District’s Medicaid agency, and it also administers the State Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the locally funded Immigrant Children’s program and DC Health Care Alliance. As deputy director for Medicaid, Dr. Elam oversaw the offices responsible for program operations, policy, and research, health care delivery management, health reform and innovation, and the Office of the Medical Director.

Previously, Dr. Elam served as the director of the Health Care Policy and Planning Administration within DHCF. She also served as agency interim director during the transition between the Fenty and Gray mayoral administrations. Prior to joining DHCF, Dr. Elam was a principal policy analyst with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, where she focused on prescription drug policy, racial and ethnic disparities in health care, and mental health. Dr. Elam’s policy expertise, industry experience, and basic science background give her a unique perspective on health care. She has authored and contributed to briefs, journal articles, and book chapters, primarily in the area of prescription drug policy for low-income Americans, and she has presented to a wide range of audiences on topics including Medicaid and Medicare drug policy, the dually eligible population and Medicaid’s role in the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Elam received her bachelor’s degree in zoology from Howard University, her master’s in public health from the University of California at Berkeley, and her PhD in health policy and management from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University.

Leadership Project

Redesign the long-term services and supports system to improve coordination of care, reduce fraud and abuse, and decrease expenditures to preserve long-term care benefits.