Victoria Ford

Victoria Ford will be the Texas Health and Human Service system’s first chief policy officer, Executive Commissioner Charles Smith announced, leading an office dedicated to making sure HHS operates as efficiently as possible.

Ford comes to HHS from K&L Gates. Before that, she was deputy legislative director and senior advisor for health and human services for former Gov. Rick Perry.

“Victoria has deep experience with health and human services and creating efficiencies in health care,” Smith said. “She knows the system and she knows territory we operate in. As chief policy officer, she will be responsible for finding ways to make us better.”

Ford starts her new job Nov. 6 and will report directly to Smith.

The chief policy officer oversees the Office of Transformation, Office of Policy and Office of Performance. Those offices will create performance measures, track performance and oversee rules and policy and the HHS system’s continuing transformation.

“HHS is doing pioneering work with analytics to make sure Texans get the help they need and taxpayers are protected,” Ford said. “I’m excited to be a part of a system that’s going to be a model for good government across the country.”

In the governor’s office, Ford was responsible for Perry’s health-related public policy agenda, including issues related to private health care, bioterrorism, public health, health insurance and health facility regulation.

She also served in the governor’s office as assistant director of the office of budget, planning and policy, and as health services policy director. Before joining the governor’s office, she was a legislative assistant for State Sen. Frank Madla and legislative director for then-State Rep. Leticia Van de Putte.

Ford has an undergraduate degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.