WASHINGTON—The NHeLP Board of Directors announced today that Elizabeth G. Taylor will join the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) as Executive Director. Elizabeth succeeds Emily Spitzer, who announced her retirement at the end of last year.
“NHeLP has grown tremendously in the last six years,” said Emily Spitzer. “I’m thankful to be leaving our work in the extremely capable hands of Elizabeth Taylor. Her background and experience are a wonderful fit for the organization.”
Elizabeth comes to NHeLP after serving as the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Among her duties at DOJ, Elizabeth was a key leader in the Department’s defense of several provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, she assisted in the formulation and execution of department policies and programs and negotiated settlements of broad potential civil claims with several major banks. She also represented the Associate Attorney General in coordinating the Department’s work with officials of other Federal agencies and the White House.
“Elizabeth is a highly accomplished lawyer, with demonstrated integrity and a concern for the poor and underserved,” said Marc Fleischaker, Chairman of the NHeLP Board of Directors. “Her work to defend important provisions of the Affordable Care Act falls in line with NHeLP’s mission to protect and advance the health rights of low-income and underserved individuals and families.”
As Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at DOJ, Elizabeth led the coordinated work of DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services to resolve litigation in the Eastern District of New York involving over-the-counter access to Plan B and Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptives. She helped to develop litigation strategy in the more than 100 cases challenging the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act.
Elizabeth participated in the Department’s defense of the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” in the Affordable Care Act. She also played an instrumental role in the defense of other aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including tax subsidies for individuals in states without state health care exchanges.
“I am thrilled to be joining NHeLP,” said Elizabeth. “The work that NHeLP does is so important and they do it so well. It’s a great honor to be offered the opportunity to succeed Emily. Her shoes will be hard to fill, but I’m looking forward to trying.”
Before joining the Department of Justice, Elizabeth was a Partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP, where she gained extensive litigation experience, including criminal and civil investigations, trials and appeals across the country. Previously, she was Associate Independent Counsel in the investigation of Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, worked as a Public Defender for the District of Columbia, served as a law clerk for the Honorable Harry A. Blackmun, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States and was a law clerk for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
With Elizabeth’s arrival, NHeLP says goodbye to Executive Director, Emily Spitzer, who had been the head of the organization since 2008.
“We are sad to see Emily Spitzer go. During her six years at NHeLP, Emily has done an outstanding job. She leaves NHeLP the strongest it has been in the organization’s 45 year history,” stated Fleischaker. “Emily more than doubled NHeLP’s operating budget and tripled the staff. NHeLP filed dozens of cases since 2008, including seven Supreme Court briefs, became a leader on the public policy front and deepened its ties with local and national coalition partners. Emily leaves a legacy of success and we wish her the best as she learns to speak Italian fluently, becomes an expert photographer, and spends more time with her husband, Eric.”
“It’s been a pleasure working with our NHeLP staff for the last few years. They are a tireless group of dedicated public servants who come to work every day with one goal in mind: to make quality health care more accessible for millions of low-income and vulnerable people. It’s been an honor working at their side,” said Spitzer. “I cannot wait to see what’s next for NHeLP!”
# # #