|24th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services|
January 29, 2018
|Preceded by||Tom Price|
|United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services|
July 22, 2005 –February 4, 2007
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Claude Allen|
|Succeeded by||Tevi Troy|
|General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services|
August 8, 2001 –July 22, 2005
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Harriet S. Rabb|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Meron|
Alex Michael Azar II
June 17, 1967
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Education|| Dartmouth College (BA)|
Yale University (JD)
|Net worth||$8.7 million|
Alex Michael Azar II ( // born June 17, 1967) is an American politician, lawyer, pharmaceutical lobbyist and former drug company executive who is the current United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Azar was nominated by President Donald Trump on November 13, 2017 and confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 2018. He was formerly the United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007.
The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services is the head of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, concerned with health matters. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The office was formerly Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality.
The Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services is the chief operating officer of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Deputy Secretary oversees all operations within the Department, including overseeing Medicare, Medicaid, public health, medical research, food and drug safety, welfare, child and family services, disease prevention, Indian health, and mental health services. The incumbent Deputy Secretary is Eric Hargan.
From 2012 to 2017, Azar was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, a major pharmaceutical drug company, and was a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.
The president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between the president and the chief executive officer varies, depending on the structure of the specific organization. In a similar vein to the chief operating officer, the title of corporate president as a separate position is also loosely defined; the president is usually the legally recognized highest rank of corporate officer, ranking above the various vice presidents, but on its own generally considered subordinate, in practice, to the CEO. The powers of the president vary widely across organizations and such powers come from specific authorization in the bylaws like Robert's Rules of Order.
Eli Lilly and Company is an American pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with offices in 18 countries. Its products are sold in approximately 125 countries. The company was founded in 1876 by, and named after, Col. Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical chemist and veteran of the American Civil War.
A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit business, nonprofit organization, or a government agency. Such a board's powers, duties, and responsibilities are determined by government regulations and the organization's own constitution and bylaws. These authorities may specify the number of members of the board, how they are to be chosen, and how often they are to meet.
Azar was born on June 17, 1967, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the son of Lynda (Zarisky) and Alex Azar.His father is of Lebanese Orthodox Christian descent. His father, also named Alex Azar, is a retired doctor of ophthalmology and teacher at Johns Hopkins Hospital; he practiced ophthalmology in Salisbury, Maryland, for more than 30 years. His grandfather emigrated from Lebanon in the early 20th century.
Johnstown is a city in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, United States, 43 miles (69 km) west-southwest of Altoona and 67 miles (108 km) east of Pittsburgh. The population was 20,978 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 20,402 in 2013. It is the principal city of the Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Cambria County.
Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is an Arab country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. Roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.
Azar attended Parkside High School in Salisbury, Maryland, from 1981 to 1985. He received a B.A. degree summa cum laude with highest honors in government and economics from Dartmouth College in 1988, where he was a member of the Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity. He earned a J.D. degree at the Yale Law School in 1991, where he served as a member of the executive committee of the Yale Law Journal .
Parkside High School (PHS) is a four-year public high school in Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland, United States. It is one of four public high schools in Wicomico County along with James Bennett High School, Wicomico High School, and Mardela Middle and High School.
Salisbury is a city in and the county seat of Wicomico County, Maryland, United States, and the largest city in the state's Eastern Shore region. The population was 30,343 at the 2010 census. Salisbury is the principal city of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is the commercial hub of the Delmarva Peninsula, which was long devoted to agriculture and had a southern culture. It calls itself "The Comfortable Side of Coastal".
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
After law school, from 1991 to 1992, Azar served as a law clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Azar left after six weeks, and was replaced in Kozinski's chambers by Brett Kavanaugh.Azar subsequently clerked for the remainder of the term for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 1992 to 1993, he served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States.
A law clerk or a judicial clerk is an individual—generally an attorney—who provides direct assistance and counsel to a judge in making legal determinations and in writing opinions by researching issues before the court. Judicial clerks often play significant roles in the formation of case law through their influence upon judges' decisions. Judicial clerks should not be confused with legal clerks, court clerks, or courtroom deputies who only provide secretarial and administrative support to attorneys and/or judges.
Alex Kozinski is a Romanian-American jurist and lawyer who was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1985 to 2017. Kozinski was a prominent and influential judge, and many of his law clerks went on to clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court. However, his career ended in 2017 when he abruptly retired after over a dozen former female law clerks and legal staffers accused him of sexual harassment and abusive practices.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a court of appeal that has appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:
From 1994 to 1996, he served as an Associate Independent Counsel for Kenneth W. Starr in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel, where he worked on the first two years of the investigation into the Whitewater controversy.At the time of Azar's appointment, he was working as an associate in Starr's law firm.
The Whitewater controversy, Whitewater scandal, or simply Whitewater, was an American political controversy of the 1990s. It began with an investigation into the real estate investments of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates, Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation. This failed business venture was incorporated in 1979 with the purpose of developing vacation properties on land along the White River near Flippin, Arkansas.
Between 1996 and 2001, Azar worked for Wiley Rein, a Washington, D.C., law firm, where he achieved partner status.
On August 3, 2001, Azar was confirmed to be the General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.Azar played an important role in responding to the 2001 anthrax attacks, making sure there was a vaccine ready for smallpox, and dealing with outbreaks of SARS and influenza. On July 22, 2005, Azar was confirmed as the United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was twice confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate.
Working under Secretary Mike Leavitt, Azar supervised all operations of HHS with an annual budget of over $1 trillion. Azar led the development and approval of all HHS regulations, led U.S. government efforts to encourage worldwide pharmaceutical and medical device innovation, and was in charge of the HHS response to an initiative implemented by President George W. Bush to improve government performance.
Azar resigned in January 2007.
In June 2007, Azar was hired by Eli Lilly and Company chief executive officer Sidney Taurel to be the company's top lobbyist and spokesman as its Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications.Azar left the position after Barack Obama was elected as the company wanted a member of the Democratic Party to have the position.
In April 2009, Azar became Vice President of Lilly's U.S. Managed Healthcare Services organization and its Puerto Rico affiliate.In 2009, the company paid $1.415 billion to settle criminal charges regarding its promotion of antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (olanzapine) for off-label uses between 1999 and 2005.
Effective January 1, 2012, Azar became President of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest division of Eli Lilly and Company, and was responsible for the company's entire operations in the United States.Prices for drugs rose substantially under Azar's leadership. In connection with the position, Azar served on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.
In January 2017, Azar resigned from Eli Lilly.He also resigned from the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
On November 13, 2017, President Trump announced via Twitter that he would nominate Azar to be the next United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.Azar was confirmed on January 24, 2018, with a vote of 55–43.
He was sworn in by Vice President Pence on January 29, 2018.
Azar has been a critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and predicted in 2017, "There will be a piece of legislation passes this year that is called the repeal of Obamacare. I don't know what's going to be in the substance of it, but there will be a piece of legislation that says that."Also regarding the ACA, Azar said that the Department of Health and Human Services has latitude to "make it work a little better."
Azar opposes abortion rights. In a written response to Senator Patty Murray regarding future HHS policy, he said that, "The mission of HHS is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, and this includes the unborn.”
According to The New York Times, Azar differed with his predecessor Tom Price in terms of their approach to regulations. Writing in May 2018, The Times said, "in a sharp break from his predecessor — and from most Trump cabinet secretaries — he seems to be relishing the chance to write new regulations, rather than just crossing out Obama-era ones."
Azar is an Orthodox Christian and lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two children.Azar served for two years on the board of HMS Holdings. He is currently on the board of the American Council on Germany, where he is Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee; and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
He has previously served on the board of directors of the Healthcare Leadership Council, where he was Treasurer; the National Association of Manufacturers; and the Indianapolis International Airport Authority, where he was Chairman of the Human Resources Committee.
Azar is a Republican and has contributed to the campaigns of Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, Jeb Bush, and Donald Trump according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Azar is a member of the Worldwide Speakers Group and gives speeches on healthcare public policy and how it fosters technology innovation. He is a notable speaker on pandemic influenza preparedness.
An open letter from Azar is printed as the opening in the book by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling, The Four Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (2012).
The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America". Before the separate federal Department of Education was created in 1979, it was called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).
Donna Edna Shalala is an American politician and academic serving as the U.S. Representative for Florida's 27th congressional district since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 18th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001.
John Phillip Gingrey, was the U.S. representative for Georgia's 11th congressional district from 2003 to 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party (GOP). The district is located in the northwestern suburbs of Atlanta. Since leaving Congress, Gingrey has worked as a senior adviser at the District Policy Group in Washington, D.C., which is the lobbying arm of the Drinker Biddle law firm.
Thomas Edmunds Price is an American physician and Republican Party politician who served as the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 6th congressional district, encompassing the northern suburbs of Atlanta, from 2005 to 2017. He was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by President Donald Trump and served in that role from February to September 2017.
A health department or health ministry is a part of government which focuses on issues related to the general health of the citizenry. Subnational entities, such as states, counties and cities, often also operate a health department of their own. Health departments perform food inspections and other health related inspections, vaccination programs, free STD and HIV tests, tobacco enforcement and cessation programs, and other medical assistance programs. Health departments also compile statistics about health issues of their area.The role of a health department may vary from one country to the other, but their primary objective is always the same; safeguarding and promoting health. In 1986, several of the world's national health departments met to establish an international guideline by which health departments operate. The meeting was in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and hence the guidelines established are known as the Ottawa Charter. The Ottawa Charter was designed to 'achieve Health for All'.
Secobarbital sodium is a short acting barbiturate derivative drug that was patented in 1934 in the United States. It possesses anaesthetic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic properties. In the United Kingdom, it was known as quinalbarbitone. It is the most frequently used drug in physician-assisted suicide within the United States. Although secobarbital is considered to be an obsolete sedative-hypnotic, it has largely been replaced by the benzodiazepine family. Seconal was widely abused, known on the streets as "red devils" or "reds".
The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREPA), passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by President of the United States George W. Bush in December, 2005, is a controversial tort liability shield intended to protect vaccine manufacturers from financial risk in the event of a declared public health emergency. The act specifically affords to drug makers immunity from potential financial liability for clinical trials of avian influenza vaccine at the discretion of the Executive branch of government. PREPA strengthens and consolidates the oversight of litigation against pharmaceutical companies under the purview of the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). PREPA provides $3.8 billion for pandemic influenza preparedness to protect public health in the case of a pandemic disease outbreak.
Sylvia Mary Mathews Burwell is an American government and non-profit executive, who is the 15th president of American University since June 1, 2017. She is the first woman to serve as the university's president. She earlier served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. President Barack Obama nominated Burwell on April 11, 2014. Burwell's nomination was confirmed by the Senate on June 5, 2014, by a vote of 78-17. She served as Secretary until the end of the Obama administration. Previously, she had been the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2013 to 2014.
In the United States, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs for commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and state government employee plans. According to the American Pharmacists Association, "PBMs are primarily responsible for developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers, and processing and paying prescription drug claims. For the most part, they work with self-insured companies and government programs striving to maintain or reduce the pharmacy expenditures of the plan while concurrently trying to improve health care outcomes." PBMs operate inside of integrated healthcare systems, as part of retail pharmacies, and as part of insurance companies.
Eric David Hargan is an American lawyer and government official who served as the United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services from October 6, 2017 to January 29, 2018. A member of the Republican Party, Hargan previously acted in this role in 2007 under the George W. Bush administration.
The Project Bioshield Act was an act passed by the United States Congress in 2004 calling for $5 billion for purchasing vaccines that would be used in the event of a bioterrorist attack. This was a ten-year program to acquire medical countermeasures to biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear agents for civilian use. A key element of the Act was to allow stockpiling and distribution of vaccines which had not been tested for safety or efficacy in humans, due to ethical concerns. Efficacy of such agents cannot be directly tested in humans without also exposing humans to the chemical, biological, or radioactive threat being treated, so testing follows the FDA Animal Rule for pivotal animal efficacy.
The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013 is a law enacted by the 113th United States Congress. The Act amends the Public Health Service Act in order to extend, fund, and improve several programs designed to prepare the United States and health professionals in the event of a pandemic, epidemic, or biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear accident or attack. The Act clarifies the authority of different American officials, makes it easier to temporarily reassign personnel to respond to emergency situations, and alters the process for testing and producing medical countermeasures. The Act is focused on improving preparedness for any public health emergency.
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Christine Elizabeth "Tina" Flint Smith is an American politician and former businesswoman serving as the junior United States senator from Minnesota since 2018. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), an affiliate of the Democratic Party. Smith served as the 48th lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 2015 to 2018 before being appointed to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Al Franken. She won the 2018 special election to fill the remainder of Franken's term, defeating Republican Karin Housley, a Minnesota state senator.
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The Trump administration family separation policy is an aspect of US President Donald Trump's immigration policy. The policy was presented to the public as a "zero tolerance" approach intended to deter illegal immigration and to encourage tougher legislation. It was adopted across the entire US–Mexico border from April 2018 until June 2018. However, later investigations found that the practice of family separations had begun a year previous to the public announcement. Under the policy, federal authorities separated children from parents or guardians with whom they had entered the US illegally. The adults were prosecuted and held in federal jails, and the children placed under the supervision of the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In a press release announcing his departure in 2007, Azar said of his time in the administration....
Harriet S. Rabb
|General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services |
| United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services |
| United States Secretary of Health and Human Services |
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Secretary of Labor
| Order of Precedence of the United States |
as Secretary of Health and Human Services
as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
|U.S. presidential line of succession|
as Secretary of Labor
| 12th in line|
as Secretary of Health and Human Services
as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development