Kristine Blackwood brings multi-dimensional expertise and experience to advance clients' health care policy goals and solve complex challenges, drawing on her experience in senior leadership positions at the US Department of Health and Human Services, the US Department of Justice, and with House and Senate Committees with healthcare jurisdiction, as well as her private sector experience. She devises and implements comprehensive advocacy campaigns to advance legislative and regulatory goals on Capitol Hill and with the Executive Branch, builds health care clients' allies, corporate profiles and footprints to reach key opinion leaders in Washington.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Ms. Blackwood's ability to solve problems under pressure was invaluable in securing urgently needed federal assistance for her clients. Her insider's understanding of the federal government's emergency preparedness capabilities, public health programs and critical infrastructure, and her insight into rapidly evolving science, policy, and politics proved singularly helpful for clients navigating unprecedented challenges of a public health emergency.

Ms. Blackwood is uniquely positioned to help health care clients achieve the policy objectives crucial to their business, with a blend of expertise and record of success in the private sector and over two decades of federal government service including as legislative adviser on health care for two cabinet departments, health care oversight counsel in the House and Senate, National Health Care Fraud Coordinator for all US Attorneys' offices, and Assistant US Attorney prosecuting complex health care fraud cases in Los Angeles.

Ms. Blackwood joined Arnold & Porter after serving as Deputy Director for Congressional Oversight and Investigations in the Office of the Secretary for Health and Human Services, where she was responsible for strategic response to Congressional oversight and investigations on Affordable Care Act implementation; preparedness for disease outbreaks and biological threats; the FDA's food, drug and device approval programs; procurement policy; unaccompanied children’s’ shelters; long-term services and supports and other health and social services programs. Prior to that, she served as Chief Counsel for the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Investigative Counsel at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, focusing on health care policy issues. Ms. Blackwood also spent over twelve years as a career professional with the DOJ, serving as Attorney-Advisor in DOJ's Office of Legislative Affairs; National Healthcare Fraud Coordinator for the nation's 94 US Attorneys' Offices; and before that, as an Assistant US Attorney for the Central District of California investigating and prosecuting complex health care fraud cases. Ms. Blackwood established the first task force on nursing home fraud and abuse in a US Attorney’s Office and has extensive experience advancing federal policies to improve the lives of older adults.


  • Led client efforts resulting in passage of the Medicare Mental Health Access Improvement Act, enabling 40 percent of the mental health workforce to provide mental health counseling services to Medicare beneficiaries in 2024.

  • Helped avert a 10 percent rate cut for physicians participating in the Medicare program on behalf of medical society.

  • Led client efforts resulting in favorable statutory language clarifying FDA regulation of certain products as drugs.

  • Helped secure $3 million increase in funding for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement and Geriatrics Academic Career Awards Programs for a client, increasing capacity for training on integration of geriatrics principles into primary care delivery and addressing gaps in health care for older adults.

  • Helped secure passage of bipartisan legislation authorizing an expansion of workforce training programs in geriatrics principles with increase.

  • Played key role in securing House and Senate leadership participation as amicus curiae in connection with Supreme Court case involving the civil rights of nursing home residents.
  • Assisted neuroscience research institute in doubling appropriations to expand the VA's budget for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research and contracting.
  • Prepared emerging biotech investing in cancer research to testify at Congressional hearing.
  • Helped block a nearly 70% payment reduction for certain in-home health services.
  • Secured legislative language in the 21st Century Cures Act preserving Medicare Part B coverage of home infusion pumps for a device distributor.


Chambers USA
Government Relations: Federal (Nationwide) (2023)


  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1983
  • B.A., Political Science, Boston University, 1977, magna cum laude
  • District of Columbia
Government & Military Service
  • Deputy Director, Congressional Oversight and Investigations, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation, HHS

  • Chief Counsel, Senate Special Committee on Aging

  • Investigative Counsel, House Committee on Energy and Commerce

  • Attorney-Advisor, DOJ Office of Legislative Affairs

  • Healthcare Fraud Coordinator, DOJ Executive Office for US Attorneys

  • Assistant US Attorney, Central District of California

  • Member, Women in Government Relations

  • Former Board Member, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles

  • Former Member, California Legal Services Trust Fund Commission

  • Former Member, LA County Bar Association, Judicial Appointments and Judicial Elections Evaluation Committees


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