Acting Administrator for Children and Families: Who Is Mark Greenberg?

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Mark Greenberg

Mark Greenberg took over in October 2013 as the acting assistant secretary of Health and Human Services for Children and Families, replacing George Sheldon.


Greenberg is a graduate of Harvard, earning a bachelor’s degree in government in 1975 and a JD from Harvard Law in 1978.


Greenberg has spent most of his career dealing directly or indirectly with victims of poverty. He started out as an attorney for Jacksonville (Florida) Area Legal Aid and moved on to the Western Center on Law and Poverty in Los Angeles.


In 1988, Greenberg joined the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). There, he wrote extensively on federal social welfare policies. He was on hand for the welfare reform signed into law by President Bill Clinton, pointing out that requiring assistance recipients to find work after two years doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be able to do so. “This is not a proposal that provides or creates jobs for people. It simply pulls out the rug from under them,” Greenberg told the Associated Press in 1993. “So long as we have a society with unemployment, there are going to be people who cannot find jobs. Under this proposal, they and their children are going to be hurt.”


Greenberg joined the Georgetown University Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy in 2007 and was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He joined the federal government in 2009 as deputy assistant secretary for policy, focusing on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Medicaid, and food stamps.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Official Biography


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