The Office of Regional Operations (ORO) is led by its Director, Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives, Associate Director for State Relations and Communications and 10 Regional Administrators.
Office of Regional Operations (ORO)
Mishaela Durán, Director
Mishaela Durán serves as the Director of the Office of Regional Operations at the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Mishaela is the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary on regional-state relations management, providing executive leadership to ten regional offices. She also leads cross-cutting strategic initiatives and public-private partnerships for ACF, an agency that administers over $53 billion annually through over 60 programs ranging from early childhood development to child welfare.
Mishaela has a career distinguished by leadership roles in numerous organizations that advocate for children and families. She served as the Executive Director of the National Parent Teacher Association, the largest child-advocacy organization in the country with over 5 million members. She led the public policy departments at the National PTA and the National Network for Youth, working with Congress and Administrations on a wide range of child policy issues, including child welfare, youth homelessness, education, workforce development, welfare, child nutrition, and juvenile justice.
Prior to joining ACF, Mishaela was the Chief of Staff for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), where she staffed a high-profile Commission that established evidence-based standards to raise the bar for performance among our nation’s teachers’ colleges.
Mishaela has held positions in local and state government agencies, including the District of Columbia Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and the Arizona Governor’s Community Policy Office, where she assisted in the implementation of major reform initiatives.
Mishaela graduated cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor’s in English Literature and earned a Master’s in Administration, Planning and Social Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mishaela was a 2017 Baldrige Executive Fellow, a cross-sector fellowship focused on performance excellence at the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Lauren Antelo, Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives
Lauren Antelo is the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives in the Office of Regional Operations, in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she works closely with ACF leadership to implement cross-cutting strategies related to economic mobility, resiliency and primary prevention. She most recently served as the Family Strengthening Team Lead in the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation’s Office of Human Services Policy, focusing on child support enforcement, family stability and employment policy for low-income and vulnerable populations.
Ms. Antelo has held positions in the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. Prior to federal service, she was a Deputy Director at United Neighborhood Houses of New York, a policy and social change organization established in 1919 to represent New York City’s settlement houses. In this role, she provided capacity building and technical assistance to the multi-service community-based organizations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Early in her career, Lauren served as Peace Corps volunteer in rural Bolivia. She is a former Presidential Management Fellow and holds a certificate in Management from Columbia Business School, a Bachelor of Science in Communications from New York University and Master of Science in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School.
LaShon S. Beamon, Associate Director for State Relations and Communications
LaShon S. Beamon brings more than 20 years of communications, marketing, branding and public relations experience as the Associate Director for State Relations and Communications, in the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
LaShon has worked with various federal agencies, state and local government, national and local non-profits, cable stations, including Discovery Communications and Black Entertainment Television, Fortune 500 companies, sports teams and small businesses.
She has spent most of her career within government, having served cabinet-level leaders and the Mayor of the District of Columbia across the sectors of child welfare, health, and public safety. As a c-suite team member, LaShon advised heads of public agencies in bringing forth wide-scale reforms in child welfare, health care and public safety, helping them become national and international models. Specifically, LaShon has worked at the District of Columbia’s Departments of Health Care Finance (Medicaid), Health, Youth Rehabilitation Services, Forensic Science Laboratory and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
A natural strategist, LaShon uses her vast experience to curate and tailor award-winning strategic communication and outreach plans that have been lauded for their ingenuity and consistently surpass organizational goals.
LaShon attended Howard University where she majored in Journalism and minored in African-American studies.
A native of Rhode Island, LaShon resides in Montgomery County, Maryland, with her husband and their two daughters.