Department of Homeland Security
Council Member: Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security
Council Designee: January Contreras, Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman
January Contreras was appointed as the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman for the Department of Homeland Security on November 23, 2009. In this role she leads the Office of the CIS Ombudsman in its efforts to interact with the public and employers to enhance the effective delivery of citizenship and immigration services. Primary efforts include helping to resolve obstacles to accessing services, identifying areas in need of improvement, and recommending solutions to improve services.
Ms. Contreras brings to the Department experience in policy analysis and development, regulatory and legislative analysis and formation, public administration, and building coalitions and public-private partnerships to enhance and improve service delivered to the public.
Ms. Contreras previously served as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Napolitano, where she helped lead the Department’s response to the H1N1 flu and oversaw Department initiatives for the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Contreras led the Arizona Department of Health Services, managing nearly 2000 employees and overseeing the state's public health and behavioral health systems. In addition, she has 10 years of experience in litigation and policy, including health policy and its interaction with immigration policy and legislation. In her state service, Ms. Contreras consistently collaborated with community, business, labor, and academic leaders to achieve public policy goals.
Ms. Contreras is a graduate of the University of Arizona and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.