Sandra Wilkniss

Program Director
Health Division

Sandra Wilkniss serves as program director for the NGA Center for Best Practices’ Health Division. Wilkniss focuses on issues related to behavioral health and social determinants of health and the innovative integration of these into health system transformation efforts. She leads the NGA Center’s technical assistance work with states advancing programs for high-need, high-cost populations.

Prior to joining NGA, Wilkniss served as senior legislative advisor for health care to Senator Martin Heinrich, senior legislative assistant for health care to Senator Jeff Bingaman and director of Thresholds Institute at Tresholds Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centers. Wilkniss also served as adjunct assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School and assistant clinical professor at the Chief Psychologist Inpatient Unit at the University of Illinois.

Wilkniss holds a Ph.D in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Princeton University. Wilkinss also holds a certificate in non-profit management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sandra originally hails from Washington, D.C.