Mara Youdelman, JD, LLM

by Jasmine Phiri

August 9, 2018

Managing Attorney (DC Office)
National Health Law Program

Mara Youdelman is the managing attorney in NHeLP’s Washington DC office. She has worked at NHeLP since 2000 on issues that include Medicaid, health reform, language access, racial and ethnic disparities, and data collection.

Recognized as a national expert on language access in health care settings, Mara has written a number of reports and participated on expert advisory panels on the subject. She is co-author of Ensuring Linguistic Access in Health Care Settings: Legal Rights and Responsibilities and Language Services Resource Guide for Pharmacists. Mara also directed the National Language Access Advocacy Project, funded by the California Endowment to increase awareness of language access issues at the federal level, and served as a Founding Commissioner on the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters ( She was named a 2011 Language Access Champion by the National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) and a 2010 Health Reform Champion by SHIRE (the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education).

Mara served as editor and co-author of NHeLP’s 130+ page analysis of the Affordable Care Act. Mara leads NHeLP’s work on eligibility and enrollment issues as well as language access and health disparities. She also helps coordinate NHeLP’s regulatory and administrative work, including authoring and/or editing many of NHeLP’s comments on proposed regulations.

Prior to joining NHeLP, Mara completed a teaching fellowship at Georgetown University Law Center’s Federal Legislation Clinic and spent two years litigating for the Administration for Children’s Services in New York City. Mara earned her LL.M. in Advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000, her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1996, and her B.A. from Tufts University in 1991.

She also founded AWARE: Actively Working for Acquaintance Rape Education, an interactive educational program on acquaintance rape.

Before law school, Mara was the general manager of a non-profit theater company in the Boston area that produced and toured original productions based on social issues. She has biked twice from Washington, DC to Raleigh, NC, and twice from Boston, MA to New York, NY to raise money for HIV and AIDS research.