Emily Spitzer leaves NHeLP after six years at the helm
WASHINGTON—This week, Washington, D.C. attorney Elizabeth G. Taylor became the new executive director of the National Health Law Program (NHeLP). She replaces Emily Spitzer, who announced her retirement late last year.
“We are delighted to welcome such an experienced and well-rounded lawyer to NHeLP,” said Marc Fleischaker, chairman of the NHeLP Board of Directors. “I am confident that Elizabeth’s background and talent make her the perfect person to continue the important work that NHeLP has undertaken with Emily’s leadership.”
Elizabeth comes to NHeLP from the Department of Justice (DOJ), where she served as Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. At DOJ, Elizabeth helped coordinate the government’s litigation strategy in successfully defending the constitutionality of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA). She also worked to resolve a number of high-profile lawsuits with large banks, and she reviewed the policies of several agencies implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which found key sections of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
Before joining DOJ, Elizabeth was a litigation partner at the D.C. law firm Zuckerman Spaeder, where she tried cases and argued appeals in numerous state and federal courts around the country. Elizabeth began her legal career as a clerk for Judge Frank Coffin on the First Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court, followed by nearly a decade at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. She also served as an associate independent counsel on the investigation of former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy.
Outgoing executive director Emily Spitzer praised Elizabeth’s commitment to social justice and her versatility as a lawyer. “NHeLP seeks to advance the health care rights of low-income and underserved people through both policy and litigation,” she said. “Elizabeth’s fluency in both areas will serve the organization well.”
Elizabeth will work out of NHeLP’s D.C. office in close coordination with attorneys and staff in the organization’s North Carolina and California locations.
“It is a great honor to have the chance to lead one of the oldest and most influential non-profits in the area of health law,” Elizabeth said. “These are times of great transition and potential, and NHeLP has the experience, relationships, and deep wisdom to make a real difference. I am committed to building on the great work that Emily has spearheaded.”
Emily joined NHeLP as the organization’s executive director in 2008 and oversaw a period of great growth internally at the organization that also coincided with the passage, defense, and implementation of the ACA. NHeLP has launched an Emily Spitzer Internship Program in her honor.
“I am delighted to be leaving NHeLP in Elizabeth’s capable hands,” Emily said. “I cannot wait to see what the next 45 years hold for the organization.”