Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) nominated a former commissioner of public health and a former adviser to two Virginia governors to oversee health and health-care finances in his new administration Friday.
Mohammad Akhter, the District's public health commissioner in the early 1990s, will return to his former duties with a new title as director of the Department of Health -- a job he said will expand to include connecting D.C. residents to local health-care jobs.
Meanwhile, Wayne Turnage, former chief of staff to then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.) and a one-time adviser to former Virginia governor Mark Warner (D) on Medicaid and insurance reform, will run the city's Health Care Finance Agency, which handles more than $2 billion in local and federal funds annually.
The appointments capped Gray's first week on the job as mayor and contributed to a mix of familiar and new faces to his administration.
He also named Antonio D. Hunter as his nominee for director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Before he took a job managing the participation of disadvantaged business on the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project for a private company, he was a division director in the city's DSLBD. In addition, Linda Wharton Boyd, former director of communications under then-Mayor Marion Barry (D), will be Gray's director of communications.
"As I have emphasized in announcing other talented professionals already on board, these individuals are team players with extensive backgrounds," Gray said at a news conference at the John A. Wilson Building.