Kara Osborne TownsendDeputy Assistant Secretary
Kara Osborne Townsend is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy. She leads a team of policy experts focused on evaluating and strengthening intra- and inter-departmental work on patient-centered care, innovative program and payment models, and regulatory design. The Office of Disability, Aging, and Long-Term Care Policy also serves as a key advisor to the Secretary on budgetary, legislative, and regulatory issues relating to mental health and substance use disorders, the aging population, and individuals with disabilities.
Prior to joining ASPE, Kara served as a health care policy advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions under the leadership of Chairman Lamar Alexander. During her time on the Committee, she was a key contributor to several consequential bills ultimately signed into law including the 21st Century Cures Act and the Older Americans Act Reauthorization of 2016.
Kara has also served in the U.S. Senate Office of the Republican Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell and worked in other health care advocacy roles. She also conducted biochemistry research on ligand-receptor binding structure and function as a lab assistant at the University of Kentucky.
Kara holds a master’s degree in public health from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and a biology degree from the University of Kentucky.