Prior to joining AARP, Sarah Lovenheim served as the top public affairs official overseeing healthcare communications for the Biden Administration amid a once-in-a-century global pandemic. As Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Sarah managed a team of 85 people driving earned, paid media and public engagement, a multimillion dollar budget and high-stakes communications strategy at sub-agencies, such as CMS, FDA, CDC and NIH.
She specializes in health policy communications, narrative-building and communicating complex science in simple terms. Her approach to management is collaborative, metrics-driven and evidence-based.
In 2021, Sarah was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as chief communications counsel to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and became the 90,000-person agency’s lead public affairs liaison to the White House. She briefed President Biden’s communications team daily on health care outreach and strategy to advance the President’s vision of tackling COVID-19, strengthening mental health, curbing health care costs and more.
During her tenure, Sarah oversaw the federal government’s evidence-based communications campaign to boost vaccine confidence. Her team tested messages through focus groups and national surveys, while growing networks in the corporate, media and nonprofit space to help save lives.
Sarah has a proven track record in policy, political and legal communications. She is battle-tested at the highest levels of government and media. She served as the lead communications strategist for a Cabinet Secretary, in senior leadership roles in the U.S. House and Senate working with Members of Congress from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to then-House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra. She began her career in journalism, working alongside the nation’s most seasoned reporters and columnists – including a handful of years at The Washington Post.
Sarah lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Zach and her two children, Mollie and Andrew
The inaugural 40 under 40 cohort represents the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists, intellectual provocateurs, authors, and directors who inspire and catalyze us all to a more just and equitable world.