Dr. Mary Wakefield is a visiting professor at Georgetown University and also at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to these appointments, Dr. Wakefield was named by President Obama as the first nurse to serve as the acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the second most senior position in the Department. Dr. Wakefield is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. In 2019 she was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Wakefield has served on a number of public and not-for-profit boards and committees bringing expertise in nursing, health care quality, and access to care and health workforce. Early in her career, she practiced as a medical-surgical nurse.