New additions to the firm further strengthen privacy and pharmacy practice groups

Washington, DC (May 29, 2019) - Epstein Becker Green (EBG) is pleased to announce that Karen Mandelbaum, a former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Senior Advisor, has joined the firm’s Privacy, Cyber Security, and Data Asset Management group. Additionally, Christopher R. Smith has joined to add further depth on pharmacy and public policy issues facing clients. Ms. Mandelbaum and Mr. Smith join the firm’s Washington, DC, and Baltimore offices.

Ms. Mandelbaum focuses on federal and state privacy and consumer protection regulations, data governance strategy, and the creation and implementation of compliant cybersecurity and privacy programs. Mr. Smith, who brings to the firm deep pharmaceutical supply chain law and regulation know-how, will assist clients with regard to pharmacy law, drug distribution, and reimbursement issues.

“With an ever changing landscape, the issues around data privacy, security and governance are increasingly top of mind for our clients,” said Patricia Wagner, Chief Privacy Officer and Member of the Firm in Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices at EBG. “We are thrilled to have someone of Karen’s caliber, with private and public experience, join our Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Data Asset Management Group to help our clients navigate the increasingly complex ecosystem of data governance, use, and protection.”

“With the addition of Karen, along with Chris, EBG continues to strengthen and enhance its privacy and security capabilities as well as the depth of services for clients dealing with pharmacy operations and pricing issues,” said George B. Breen, Chair of the firm's National Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Steering Committee. “The evolving challenges clients face in these areas continues to grow and we look forward to guiding clients as they navigate these challenges.”

Prior to joining EBG, Ms. Mandelbaum worked at CMS as a Senior Advisor to the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer. At CMS, she was responsible for developing and implementing an integrated approach to CMS’s cybersecurity and privacy program. Prior to this, Ms. Mandelbaum built the privacy policy program for the health insurance exchanges and the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace at the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). In addition to her public sector experience, she also served as General Counsel and the Privacy and Security Officer of a national health care technology company.

Ms. Mandelbaum earned the 2018 CMS Administrator’s Honor Award for Execution of Major Projects for her contributions to the New Medicare Card Initiative. She also received the 2017 Administrator’s Honor Award for Organizational Excellence for developing the Website Notices for and She received her master’s in healthcare administration from the University of Minnesota and her JD in healthcare law from William Mitchell College of Law.

Likewise, Mr. Smith brings to the firm a “deep knowledge of government affairs that will greatly benefit our clients as they navigate industry disruption and a dynamic legislative environment,” explains David E. Matyas, Washington, DC Managing Shareholder and a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice. “We look forward to watching Chris create innovative, collaborative solutions for our clients across the pharmaceutical supply chain, including insurers and health care providers.”

Before joining EBG, Mr. Smith worked as a Director of Federal Public Policy at a nonprofit trade association that advocates for pro-patient and pro-pharmacy public policy and as a Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at a national trade association representing the pharmacist owners, managers, and employees of independent community pharmacies nationwide.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Smith was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Widener University School of Law’s Health Law Institute, served as a Legal Fellow for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, and was a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland.

Among his extracurricular activities, Mr. Smith serves as a judge for American University Washington College of Law’s Health Law Writing Competition.

About Epstein Becker Green

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., is a national law firm with a primary focus on health care and life sciences; employment, labor, and workforce management; and litigation and business disputes. Founded in 1973 as an industry-focused firm, Epstein Becker Green has decades of experience serving clients in health care, financial services, retail, hospitality, and technology, among other industries, representing entities from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Operating in locations throughout the United States and supporting domestic and multinational clients, the firm’s attorneys are committed to uncompromising client service and legal excellence.  For more information, visit

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