Kathleen Sebelius

Last updated

Kathleen Sebelius
Kathleen Sebelius official portrait.jpg
21st United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
In office
April 28, 2009 June 9, 2014
President Barack Obama
Deputy Bill Corr
Preceded by Mike Leavitt
Succeeded by Sylvia Mathews Burwell
44th Governor of Kansas
In office
January 13, 2003 April 28, 2009
Lieutenant John E. Moore
Mark Parkinson
Preceded by Bill Graves
Succeeded by Mark Parkinson
23rd Kansas Insurance Commissioner
In office
January 9, 1995 January 13, 2003
Governor Bill Graves
Preceded byRonald L. Todd
Succeeded by Sandy Praeger
Personal details
Kathleen Gilligan

(1948-05-15) May 15, 1948 (age 70)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Gary Sebelius
Father John J. Gilligan
Education Trinity Washington University (BA)
University of Kansas (MPA)

Kathleen Sebelius ( /sɪˈbliəs/ ; néeGilligan; born May 15, 1948) is an American businesswoman and politician who served as the 21st United States Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2009 [1] until 2014. [2] Previously, she was the 44th Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, the second woman to hold that office. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Sebelius was the Democratic respondent to the 2008 State of the Union address [3] and is chair-emerita of the Democratic Governors Association (she was its first female chair). [4] On April 10, 2014, Sebelius announced her resignation as Secretary of Health and Human Services. [2] She is CEO of Sebelius Resources LLC. [5]

United States Secretary of Health and Human Services government position

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.

Democratic Governors Association

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is a Washington, D.C. based 527 organization founded in 1983, consisting of U.S. state and territorial governors affiliated with the Democratic Party. The mission of the organization is to provide party support to the election and re-election of Democratic gubernatorial candidates. The DGA's Republican counterpart is the Republican Governors Association. The DGA is not directly affiliated with the non-partisan National Governors Association. Elisabeth Pearson is currently the Executive Director of the DGA.


Early life and education

Sebelius was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the daughter of Mary Kathryn (née Dixon) and John "Jack" Gilligan. [6] [7] Her father is a former Democratic Ohio Governor and thus they became the first father/daughter governor duo in the United States after her election. [8] Her family was Roman Catholic, and had Irish ancestry. [9] [10]

John J. Gilligan American politician, governor of Ohio

John Joyce Gilligan was an American Democratic politician from the state of Ohio who served as a U.S. Representative and as the 62nd Governor of Ohio from 1971 to 1975. He was the father of Kathleen Sebelius, who later served as Governor of Kansas and United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Gilligan and Sebelius are the only father and daughter ever to have both been elected state governors.

She attended the Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati and graduated from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in political science. She later earned a master of public administration degree from the University of Kansas. [11] She moved to Kansas in 1974.

Summit Country Day School

The Summit Country Day School is a private, Roman Catholic, PreK–12 school located in Cincinnati, Ohio. As of 2015, 153 students are enrolled in the Montessori preschool, 459 in the primary and middle schools, and 398 in the upper school division. As of 2017, 402 are enrolled in the upper school. Although located within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the school is run by the board of trustees.

Trinity Washington University is a Roman Catholic university located in Washington, D.C. across from The Catholic University of America and the Dominican House of Studies and under the trusteeship of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Although it has been a university since September 10, 2004, Trinity Washington University's College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate program maintains its original status as a liberal arts women's college. Men are accepted into the School of Education and the School of Professional Studies at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Early career

Sebelius served as executive director and chief lobbyist for the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association from 1977 to 1986.

Kansas House of Representatives (1987–1995)

Sebelius was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 1986. She won re-election in 1988, 1990, and 1992. She represented Topeka, Kansas.

Kansas House of Representatives lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas

The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. Composed of 125 state representatives from districts with roughly equal populations of at least 19,000, its members are responsible for crafting and voting on legislation, helping to create a state budget, and legislative oversight over state agencies.

Topeka, Kansas State capital city in Kansas, United States

Topeka is the capital city of the U.S. state of Kansas and the seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in the central part of Shawnee County, in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 127,473. The Topeka Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage, and Wabaunsee counties, had a population of 233,870 in the 2010 census.


In the 1988 presidential election, she endorsed Gary Hart. [12]

Gary Hart American politician

Gary Warren Hart is an American politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He was the front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination until he dropped out over allegations of an extramarital affair. He represented Colorado in the United States Senate from 1975 to 1987.

In 1991, she ran to become House Majority Leader, but lost to State Representative Tom Sawyer of Wichita. [13] [14]

Tom Sawyer is an American politician currently serving as the Minority Leader of the Kansas House of Representatives. A Democrat, Sawyer has represented the 95th district, covering southwest Wichita, since 2013. Sawyer previously represented the same district from 1987 to 1999 and from 2003 to 2009, serving as both Majority Leader and Minority Leader during his first stint in the legislature.

Wichita, Kansas City and county seat in Kansas, United States

Wichita is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Sedgwick County. As of 2017, the estimated population of the city was 390,591. Wichita is the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 644,610 in 2015.

She was strongly pro-choice. [15]

Committee assignments

Kansas Insurance Commissioner (1995–2003)

In 1994 Sebelius left the House to run for state Insurance Commissioner and stunned political forecasters by winning the first time a Democrat had won in more than 10 years.

She refused to take campaign contributions from the insurance industry and blocked the proposed merger of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the state's largest health insurer, with an Indiana-based company. Sebelius's decision marked the first time the corporation had been rebuffed in its acquisition attempts. [17]

In 2001 Sebelius was named as one of Governing Magazine's Public Officials of the Year while she was serving as Kansas Insurance Commissioner. [18]

Governor of Kansas (2003–2009)

Kathleen Sebelius (second from left) with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (first left), United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (center), Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (fourth), and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (right) Condoleezza Rice with Governors.jpg
Kathleen Sebelius (second from left) with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (first left), United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (center), Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (fourth), and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue (right)

2002 election

Sebelius defeated Republican Tim Shallenburger 53%-45%. [19]

First term

Throughout her first term, Sebelius built upon her popularity and in January 2006 was tied for 20th most popular governor in the country. [20]

During the 2004 election, Sebelius was named as a potential running mate for John Kerry. [21] In the aftermath of Kerry's defeat, some pundits named Sebelius as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008. [22]

In November 2005, Time named Sebelius as one of the five best governors in America, praising her for eliminating a $1.1 billion debt she inherited, ferreting out waste in state government, and strongly supporting public education all without raising taxes, although she proposed raising sales, property, and income taxes. [23] The article also praised her bipartisan approach to governing, a useful trait in a state where Republicans have usually controlled the Legislature. [24]

In February 2006, the White House Project named Sebelius one of its "8 in '08," a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run and/or be elected president in 2008. [25] She was also cited by The New York Times to be among the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States. [26]

In October 2006, the Cato Institute gave Sebelius the grade of "D" on their biennial fiscal policy report card, which measures the fiscal performance of U.S. governors based on spending and taxes. Her grade was influenced by the combination of proposed tax increases and expanded spending growth beyond population plus inflation. [27]

2006 re-election

Sebelius meets with FEMA workers in Kansas FEMA - 31226 - Governor Sebelius meets with FEMA Regional Admin. Hainje.jpg
Sebelius meets with FEMA workers in Kansas

On May 26, 2006, Sebelius formally announced her candidacy for re-election. Four days later, Mark Parkinson, former chair of the Kansas Republican Party, switched his party affiliation to Democrat; the following day Sebelius announced that Parkinson would be her running mate for Lieutenant Governor. Parkinson had previously served in the state House during 1991–1992 and the Senate during 1993–1997. Parkinson was viewed as a pro-business moderate who strongly supported public education. This was somewhat reminiscent of the fact that John Moore had also been a Republican, before switching just days prior to joining Sebelius as her running mate. [28]

She was challenged by Republican Kansas State Senator Jim Barnett. A September 1 Rasmussen poll showed Sebelius with an 11% lead over Barnett. [29] Other polls gave Sebelius as much as a 20% lead. As of 2004, 50% of Kansas voters were registered Republicans, compared to 27% as registered Democrats. [30] Sebelius, nevertheless, won re-election defeating him 57%-41%. Because of Kansas's term limits law, her second term as Governor was her last.

Second term

In February 2008, during Sebelius's second term in office, there was a report in the Wichita Eagle that the State of Kansas was suspending tax refunds and that, because of a lack of tax revenue, may not have been able to meet payroll for state employees. [31] [32] Sebelius called for issuing certificates of indebtedness, moving funds from various state agency accounts into the general fund to alleviate the crisis. However, Republican leaders in the legislature did not agree with her certificate of indebtedness plan, saying the state would be unable to repay the certificates unless Sebelius issued allotments or signed a budget rescission bill that had been passed by the legislature but had not yet been delivered to her desk. The standoff ended when the budget arrived, and Sebelius agreed to sign it, although she line-item vetoed several cuts she felt were too large. The rescission bill reduced the budget by about $300 million. $7 million of the cuts came in the form of reduced educational funding. [33]

Sebelius speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado Kathleen Sebelius 2008 DNC (2809671990) (cropped1).jpg
Sebelius speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado

After Barack Obama's clinching of the nomination in June 2008, speculation that she would be a contender for the vice-presidential slot on the Democratic ticket continued. [34] The Washington Post listed her as the top prospect for the 2008 nomination. [35] James Carville and Bob Novak also mentioned Sebelius' name, [36] [37] and Wesley Clark, also considered a potential running mate, publicly endorsed Sebelius, referring to her as "the next vice-president of the United States." [38] Speculation that the Vice Presidential nomination lay in her future was heightened by the fact that she was chosen by the Democratic Party's congressional leaders to give their party's official response to Republican President George W. Bush's 2008 State of the Union Address. [39] The next day, she endorsed Obama's campaign, one week before the Kansas caucus on Super Tuesday. [40] Obama won the caucus easily, with 74% support. [41]

Speculation on her Vice Presidential selection intensified when a report from political ad agency insider, Tribble Ad Agency, reported on its website that the Obama Campaign owned the domain name "ObamaSebelius.com" through the GoDaddy.com registration service. [42] However, just after midnight on August 23, it was reported by the Associated Press that Obama ultimately selected Joe Biden, the senior senator from Delaware, as his running mate. [43]

Sebelius was considered to be on the short list for nomination to a position in Obama's Cabinet, [44] but she officially withdrew her name from consideration on December 6, 2008. [45] Following Bill Richardson's withdrawal as Obama's nomination for Secretary of Commerce, there was media speculation that Sebelius would be chosen as the new nominee. [46] [47] [48] [49] Through a spokesperson, Sebelius reiterated her earlier statement that she would not consider accepting a nomination to the Cabinet position. [50] Sebelius' name was again floated as a replacement for Tom Daschle, who withdrew as Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services-designate over tax issues. The governor at first did not publicly comment on whether or not she would be interested in accepting the position. [51] On February 28, 2009, the British wire agency Reuters reported that Sebelius had accepted the president's offer to become Secretary of Health and Human Services and that she would be nominated on March 2. [52]

Following Senator Sam Brownback's announcement that he would not seek re-election to the Senate, and would instead run for Governor of Kansas in the 2010 elections, Sebelius was one of several people that media outlets speculated would run for the open United States Senate seat in 2010. [53] [54] However, Sebelius declined to run and maintained her post in the Obama administration. [55]

Sebelius is a former chair of the Democratic Governors Association, a popular launchpad for those with national political ambitions. [56] She was the first female chair of the association (elected as such in 2006). [4]

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (2009–2014)

Sebelius accepting her nomination by President Barack Obama as Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius Secretary of Health and Human Services nomination.jpg
Sebelius accepting her nomination by President Barack Obama as Secretary of Health and Human Services


On February 28, 2009, it was reported that Sebelius had accepted Obama's nomination for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. On March 2, 2009, Obama officially announced Governor Sebelius as his nominee. [57] At Obama's announcement, Sebelius was accompanied by two Kansas Republicans, former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and current U.S. Senator Pat Roberts. Anti-abortion activists and senators were the primary opponents of Sebelius's nomination. [58]

During the background investigation process for this position, in March 2009 she admitted to "unintentional errors" in tax returns and paid nearly $8,000 in back taxes. [59] [60] She took unduly large deductions in areas that included charitable contributions, the sale of a home, and business expenses. [61] [62] [63] [64]

Sebelius at an HHS meeting in April 2009 Kathleen Sebelius in HHS meeting 4-28-09.jpg
Sebelius at an HHS meeting in April 2009

In answer to questions from the Senate Finance Committee during her April 2009 confirmation hearing, Sebelius stated she received $12,450 between 1994 and 2001 from physician George Tiller, one of only three late term abortion providers nationwide, who was later assassinated. The Associated Press, however, reported that from 2000 to 2002 Tiller gave at least $23,000 more to a political action committee Sebelius established to raise money for Democrats while she was serving as state insurance commissioner. [65]

Sebelius was confirmed by the United States Senate by a vote of 65–31 and sworn in on April 28, 2009, amidst an outbreak of swine flu in the United States, Mexico, and numerous other countries around the world. Lieutenant Governor Parkinson was sworn in as Governor of Kansas and served the remainder of Sebelius's term. [66] [67] [68] [69] [70]

Affordable Care Act

Sebelius and Todd Park, the White House's chief technology officer Kathleen Sebelius (2).jpg
Sebelius and Todd Park, the White House's chief technology officer

Sebelius is a staunch advocate for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In response to website glitches and failures, she said in October 2013, "You deserve better. I apologize. I'm accountable to you for fixing these problems and I'm committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site." [71] Republicans called for her resignation in response to the website problems. [72] [73] In the House, fifty-five members of the House called for her resignation, while U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Lamar Alexander and Pat Roberts all called for her resignation. [72] [73] In response to the calls to resign Sebelius said, "The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don't work for, and who do not want this program to work in the first place." [72] [73]

In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Forbes named Sebelius the 57th, 23rd, and 13th most powerful woman in the world, respectively. [74] [75] [76]

Hatch Act concern

On September 13, 2012, the Office of Special Counsel charged Sebelius with violating the Hatch Act by making a political remark during an official government event. Sebelius's office reclassified the event from official to political and reimbursed the government's expenses. [77]


On April 11, 2014, Sebelius announced her resignation from her position as Secretary of Health and Human Services, assumedly tentative upon the confirmation of her successor. Sylvia Mathews Burwell was nominated that same day as her successor. [78]

Political positions


Sebelius is "staunchly pro-choice." [79] Her office stated that abortions declined 8.5% during her tenure as governor. [80] According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment statistics, the number of induced abortions in Kansas declined by 1,568, or 12.6%, from 2001 to 2007, the year of the most recently available statistics. [81] Her administration attributes the decline to health care reforms that Sebelius initiated, including "adoption incentives, extended health services for pregnant women..., sex education and... a variety of support services for families." [82] Nationally, the number of abortions declined approximately 7.6% from 2000 to 2005, the year of the most recently available and reliable U.S. statistics. [83]

Sebelius has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, which has raised funds on her behalf. [84] In 2003, 2005, 2006, and again in 2008, Sebelius vetoed legislation that would have limited abortions in Kansas.

On April 21, 2008, Sebelius vetoed House Substitute for Senate Bill 389, titled the Comprehensive Abortion Reform Act by its sponsors. Proponents of the bill argued the legislation would strengthen late-term abortion laws and prevent so-called "coerced abortions," particularly with respect to minors. The Kansas City Star reported that HS SB 389 would have required the State of Kansas to collect patient diagnostic information providing detailed medical justification for late-term abortions, and would have also permitted litigants to sue abortion providers if they thought that a relative of theirs was planning a late-term abortion in violation of Kansas law. [85] Sebelius objected to the constitutionality, efficacy and morality of the proposed legislation. She wrote, "The United States Supreme Court decisions make clear that any law regulating abortion must contain exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman's life or health. However, SB 389 allows a variety of individuals to seek a court order preventing a woman from obtaining an abortion, even where it may be necessary to save her life. I am concerned that the bill is unconstitutional or even worse, endangers the lives of women." In addition, she expressed concern that the bill would "likely encourage extensive litigation" and that it "unnecessarily jeopardizes the privacy of Kansas women's confidential medical records." [82]

Sebelius is a member of the Catholic Church; however, in early March 2009, then-Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, prefect for the Apostolic Signatura, the Holy See's highest court, declared that Sebelius should not approach the altar for Communion in the United States, saying that, "after pastoral admonition, she obstinately persists in serious sin". [86] Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Fred Naumann also asked that Sebelius no longer receive Holy Communion because of her position on abortion. Naumann criticized Sebelius for vetoing HS SB 389. [87] The action received mixed reviews in the Catholic press. [88] [89] [90]

Anti-abortion activists criticized Sebelius's HHS nomination because she had received donations to her campaign from George Tiller, the medical director of an abortion clinic in Wichita. [91] [92] Not long after Sebelius was sworn in as HHS Secretary, on May 31, 2009, Tiller was shot through the eye and killed by Scott Roeder. [93]

Morning-after pill

Despite her pro-choice view, in December 2011, Sebelius overruled the FDA's recommendation on making the "morning-after pill" (Plan B One-Step) available over the counter for females under the age of 17. [94] President Obama said that the decision was Sebelius's, not his. [95]

Judge Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York struck down this restriction, calling it "frivolous" and "silly", and alleging that pure politics — not scientific evidence — was behind efforts by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, to block easier distribution to young girls. The Obama administration, in response, lowered the age limit from 17 to 15 but decided to appeal this ruling to maintain the loosened restrictions, in a move that was widely criticized by advocates of reproductive rights. [96]

Capital punishment

Sebelius is an opponent of capital punishment. [97] During her first term, the Kansas capital punishment laws were declared unconstitutional by the Kansas Supreme Court. However, on appeal by Kansas's Attorney General Phill Kline, the ruling was again overturned and the current law reinstated by the United States Supreme Court.

Drug importation

As governor of Kansas, Sebelius adopted a state drug importation program in 2004 to help her constituents afford prescription medication. [98] The program, called I-saveRx, connected individuals with and helped them buy medication from licensed pharmacies in Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The program later went on to include Australia and New Zealand. [99] Due to federal laws prohibiting personal drug importation under most circumstances, the FDA intercepted some prescription orders en route to Americans who participated in I-SaveRx; while in most cases prescription imports for personal use are not seized.


Sebelius at Cool Springs Elementary School in Adelphi, Maryland. On Thursday, February 17, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited the Judy Hoyer Early Learning Center at Cool Springs Elementary School in Adelphi, Maryland (4).jpg
Sebelius at Cool Springs Elementary School in Adelphi, Maryland.

Early in the term, Sebelius made education funding her top priority. Education funding reached a breaking point in the summer of 2005 when the Kansas Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to increase K–12 funding. [100] Sebelius offered one education funding plan early in her first term, which consisted of property, sales, and income tax increases, resulting in 2006 in the largest K–12 education funding increase in the history of the state. The three-year plan aimed to increase education funding by nearly $1 billion over three years, but did not give a funding source for the second and third years.


Sebelius chaired the Governors' Ethanol Coalition. In 2006 she requested that $200 million be allotted from the US government to support the Department of Energy Biomass and Biorefinery Systems Research and Development Program. [101] She pushed for more widespread recycling efforts across the state. [102] In addition, she vetoed bills authorizing the construction of coal-fired power plants on three separate occasions [103] saying in March 2008, "We know that greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. As an agricultural state, Kansas is particularly vulnerable. Therefore, reducing pollutants benefits our state not only in the short term — but also for generations of Kansans to come." [104] On June 2, 2008, Sebelius spoke at the American Wind Energy Association Conference, calling for greater federal support for wind energy and other renewable energy resources. [105]

As Health and Human Services Secretary, Sebelius will have a role in the development of regulations governing hydraulic fracturing. President Obama issued an executive order enabling the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to participate in an Interagency Working Group charged with helping to develop practical, economical state and federal public health and environmental standards related to natural gas production. [106]


Sebelius and Eric Holder Health Care Fraud Press Conference.jpg
Sebelius and Eric Holder

Sebelius has said she supports Kansans' right to own firearms, but does not believe a broad concealed carry law would make them safer: "I don't believe allowing people to carry concealed handguns into sporting events, shopping malls, grocery stores, or the workplace would be good public policy. And to me the likelihood of exposing children to loaded handguns in their parents' purses, pockets and automobiles is simply unacceptable." [107]

Sebelius vetoed, like her Republican predecessor Bill Graves, a concealed-carry law that would have allowed citizens to carry concealed weapons after obtaining a state permit and passing an FBI background check. [108] The veto left Kansas, at the time, as one of four states without any form of a conceal-carry law.

On March 21, 2006, she vetoed Senate Bill 418, a similar concealed-carry bill. On March 25, her veto was overturned after the Kansas House of Representatives voted 91–33 to override it. This followed the Kansas Senate's 30-10 override vote, which occurred the day after her veto. [109]

On April 21, 2008, Sebelius signed Senate Bill 46 into law, which repealed a 1933 state law prohibiting civilian ownership of machine guns and other firearms restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934, specifically permitting ownership by civilians successfully meeting the requirements of the NFA. The law was passed in part to address legal issues that could have prevented dealers from delivering firearms to law enforcement agencies in Kansas. The law took effect on July 1, 2008. [110]

LGBT issues

Sebelius did not support an April 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution that made same-sex marriage in the state unconstitutional. Sebelius said she supported the existing state law outlawing same-sex marriage, viewing it as sufficient, [111] and therefore opposed the constitutional amendment. The amendment passed with 70% voter approval.

Subsequent career

After leaving the cabinet, Sebelius founded and became CEO of Sebelius Resources LLC, which provides strategic advice to private companies, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, and financial investors.

Sebelius serves as a member of the boards of directors of companies including Dermira Inc., Grand Rounds, Inc., Exact Sciences, and Humacyte Inc., and of the Estee Lauder Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation. In 1978, she was elected to the Common Cause National Governing Board. She serves on advisory boards for the Dole Institute of Politics and Solera Health. Sebelius is a senior advisor to Out Leadership and the Aspen Institute, where she co-chairs the Aspen Health Strategy Group. Sebelius is a frequent keynote speaker for national and international organizations. [112]

Personal life

She married K. Gary Sebelius, [113] a federal magistrate judge and the son of former Republican congressman Keith Sebelius, on December 31, 1974 in Columbus, Ohio. They have two sons: Ned (b. 1982) and John (b. 1985). [114] She visits her childhood and current vacation home, located in Leland, Michigan, north of Traverse City, Michigan.

An avid fan of jazz music, Sebelius has a 30-year streak of annually attending Jazz Fest in New Orleans as of 2009. Only missing festivals two years in that period, because she was 9 months pregnant at the time. [115] [116]

Electoral history

Kansas Gubernatorial Election 2002
Democratic Kathleen Sebelius435,46252.9
Republican Tim Shallenburger 371,32545.3
Kansas Gubernatorial Election 2006
Democratic Kathleen Sebelius (Incumbent)480,53257.8+4.9
Republican Jim Barnett 336,58340.5

See also

Related Research Articles

Sam Brownback American politician and 46th Governor of Kansas

Samuel Dale Brownback is an American attorney, politician, diplomat and member of the Republican Party who has served as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom since February 2018. Brownback previously served as the Secretary of Agriculture of Kansas (1986–93), as the U.S. Representative for Kansas's 2nd congressional district (1995–96), as a United States Senator from Kansas (1996–2011) and the 46th Governor of Kansas (2011–18). He also ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2008.

Susan Collins United States Senator from Maine

Susan Margaret Collins is an American politician serving as the senior United States Senator for Maine. A Republican, Collins has served in the Senate since 1997.

Hilda Solis 25th United States Secretary of Labor

Hilda Lucia Solis is an American politician and a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for the 1st district. Solis previously served as the 25th United States Secretary of Labor from 2009 to 2013, as part of the administration of President Barack Obama. She is a member of the Democratic Party and served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009, representing the 31st and 32nd congressional districts of California that include East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

Tony Knowles (politician) American politician and restaurateur

Anthony Carroll Knowles is an American politician and businessman who served as the seventh governor of Alaska from December 1994 to December 2002. Barred from seeking a third consecutive term as governor in 2002, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and again for governor in 2006. In September 2008, Knowles became president of the National Energy Policy Institute, a non-profit energy policy organization funded by billionaire George Kaiser's family foundation, and located at the University of Tulsa.

Mary Fallin 27th Governor of Oklahoma

Mary Fallin is an American politician who served as the 27th governor of Oklahoma from 2011 to 2019. A member of the Republican Party, she was elected in 2010 and reelected in 2014.

Mark Parkinson Governor of Kansas

Mark Vincent Parkinson is the president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). A former Republican, Parkinson is currently a member of the Democratic Party. He was the 45th Governor of Kansas and a member of both the Kansas House of Representatives and the Kansas Senate.

James A. Barnett is an American Republican politician. He announced his 2018 run for governor of Kansas on June 18, 2017 at the Topeka Medical Society Building.

Susan Wagle American politician

Susan Wagle is an American politician who serves as a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing Kansas' 30th district since 2001. She was elected President of the Kansas Senate in 2013.

Jeanne Lambrew American government official

Jeanne Lambrew is a United States professor of public affairs and health policy. She served in the Obama administration as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Health Reform.

First 100 days of Barack Obamas presidency

The first 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency began on January 20, 2009, the day Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. The first 100 days of a presidential term took on symbolic significance during Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term in office, and the period is considered a benchmark to measure the early success of a president. The 100th day of his presidency was April 29, 2009. Obama stated that he should not be judged by his first hundred days: "The first hundred days is going to be important, but it’s probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference."

Confirmations of Barack Obamas Cabinet The government of the United States under President Barack Obama

The President of the United States has the authority to nominate members of the cabinet to the United States Senate for confirmation under Article II, Section II, Clause II of the United States Constitution.

Troy Findley was the 48th Lieutenant Governor of Kansas. He was appointed by Governor Mark Parkinson on May 14, 2009 and took office the following day. Findley previously served as chief of staff to Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Debra L. "Deb" Miller is the current Vice Chair of the Surface Transportation Board. She previously served as the Kansas Secretary of Transportation under three successive Governors of Kansas between 2003 and 2011. She is Kansas' first female and longest-serving Secretary of Transportation.

Kansas, like many other states, is facing a $186 million gap for fiscal year 2009 and according to early estimates approximately $1 billion deficit for fiscal year 2010. However, more recent estimates place FY 2010's shortfall at $654 million.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius recommended $600 million in budget cuts for FY 2010 which includes eliminating programs, closing facilities, freezing new hires, and reducing spending. However, in light of the federal economic stimulus package Sebelius amended her recommended budget to "prevent harm" to the state. "Budget cuts deeper than what I have already recommended are not necessary, and would in fact do great harm to our state’s economy and employment levels," said Sebelius. However, state officials said their target for reductions in fiscal 2010 is greater than the Governor's recommendations - $625 million. According to the Governor's recommended budget, the proposed cuts could reduce the projected FY2010 shortfall $103 million, however that estimate depends on $57 million in revenue from state-owned casinos that haven’t yet been built.

Mary Pilcher-Cook is a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 10th District since 2009. She was a representative on the Kansas House of Representatives from 2000 to 2002 and from 2004 to 2006. She was elected to the Kansas Senate 2008 and re-elected in 2012 and 2016. Her term expires in 2021.

Kathy Greenlee American politician

Kathy J. Greenlee was appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama as the fourth Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Senate in June 2009.

Sheryl L. Nuxoll is an American politician from the state of Idaho. A Republican, Nuxoll was a Idaho State Senator from 2010-2012 representing District 8 and then District 7 from 2012 until 2016, when she lost her bid for renomination in the primary.

Gun laws in Kansas regulate the sale, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition in the state of Kansas in the United States.

2016 United States Senate election in Kansas

The 2016 United States Senate election in Kansas was held on November 8, 2016, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Kansas, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. The primaries were held on August 2.


  1. "Kathleen Sebelius Confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services". Archived from the original on May 30, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
  2. 1 2 "HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour". Pbs.org. February 20, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  3. "Response to the 2008 State of the Union address". CNN. January 29, 2008. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  4. 1 2 "Sebelius Elected Chair of Democratic Governors Association; Kansas Governor Becomes First Woman to Lead DGA - 13 WTHR Indianapolis". Wthr.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  5. "Sebelius Resources LLC". Sebelius Resources LLC.
  6. "Ancestry of Kathleen Sebelius". wargs.com.
  7. "Beacon Journal: Search Results". October 12, 1996.
  8. "Meet Kathleen". Archived from the original on September 27, 2006. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  9. "Sebelius's Family". The Irish Times.
  10. "Transcript: Kathleen Sebelius". POLITICO.
  11. "Kathleen Sebelius - Forbes". Forbes.
  12. "Wichita Eagle: Search Results". May 9, 1987.
  13. "Wichita Eagle: Search Results".
  14. "Wichita Eagle: Search Results". July 20, 1991.
  15. "Wichita Eagle: Search Results". January 23, 1992.
  16. "Daily Union - Google News Archive Search". google.com.
  17. "Political Women Go Hunting". National Wild Turkey Federation. October 27, 2004.
  18. Gurwitt, Rob (November 2001). "Kathleen Sebelius: Believer in Balance". Governing Magazine.
  19. "State Races: Kansas". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  20. SurveyUSA (2006). Governor Approval Ratings 01/06 Sort by State. Retrieved April 25, 2006.
  21. CNN (2004). John Kerry campaign: Democratic candidates for vice president. Retrieved April 25, 2006. See also CNN (2004). Who Will John Kerry Pick as His Running Mate?. Retrieved April 25, 2006.
  22. "The 2008 Veepstakes".
  23. "State of the State Union Address". January 13, 2004. Retrieved June 1, 2016.[ dead link ]
  24. Time (2006). America's 5 Best Governors: Kathleen Sebelius|Kansas. Retrieved April 25, 2006.
  25. The White House Project (2006). "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Retrieved March 19, 2008.
  26. Zernike, Kate (May 18, 2008). "She Just Might Be President Someday". New York Times.
  27. "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2006" (PDF). Cato Institute. p. 23.
  28. Twitty, David (May 31, 2006). "Kan. gov. selects running mate for race". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press.[ permanent dead link ]
  29. "Kansas Governor: Sebelius Lead Narrows". Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2008.. Rasmussen Reports. September 1, 2006
  30. Election 2004. Cnn.com. Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  31. Hanna, John (February 16, 2009). "Kan. suspends income tax refunds, may miss payroll". Wichita Eagle. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009.
  32. Smith, Ben (February 16, 2009). "Gibbs on Sebelius". Politico.com.
  33. Waggener, Kristen (February 25, 2009). "USD 416 faces state cuts of $33 per student". Louisburg Herald.
  34. Zerger Nathan, Jesse (April 24, 2006). "Will Kansas Governor Be Dems VP Candidate in 2008?". BeyondChron.
  35. Cillizza, Chris and Shailagh Murray."So, Candidates, Who's It Going to Be?", Washington Post, May 11, 2008.
  36. "Political Ticker", CNN, May 13, 2008.
  37. A Vice President For Abortion. Rasmussenreports.com (May 26, 2008). Retrieved on 2012-02-11.
  38. Sebelius Obama's VP? – Political Machine. News.aol.com (June 3, 2008). Retrieved on 2012-02-11.
  39. Carpenter, Tim. "Sebelius to give response to State of the Union, Governor represents Democratic Party in opposition speech" Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine , Topeka Capital-Journal, January 16, 2008.
  40. "Kansas Gov. Sebelius Endorses Obama, Governor Represents GOP-Friendly State Where Candidate Has Family Ties". =Associated Press. CBS News. January 29, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2008.
  41. [ dead link ]
  42. "Barack Obama chooses Kathleen Sebelius for Vice President", Tribble Ad Agency, August 18, 2008.
  43. "Obama introduces Biden as running mate". CNN. August 23, 2008.
  44. "Sebelius Cabinet chances abound". Topeka Capital-Journal. November 21, 2008. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  45. Carpenter, Tim "Governor takes herself out of contention for cabinet post" Archived August 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine , Topeka Capital-Journal, December 7, 2008
  46. "Richardson Pick Proves Hitch For Obama: Kathleen Sebelius On Short List To Replace N.M. Gov. For Commerce Post". CBS News. January 5, 2008.
  47. Charles, Deborah (January 5, 2009). "Obama transition hits bump as Richardson withdraws". Reuters. International Herald Tribune.
  48. Erbe, Bonnie (January 5, 2009). "Barack Obama Should Replace Bill Richardson in Cabinet With Kathleen Sebelius". U.S. News & World Report.
  49. Kraske, Steve (January 5, 2009). "With Richardson out, could Washington tempt Sebelius again?". Kansas City Star.
  50. "Sebelius not interested in commerce secretary". Kansas City Star. January 5, 2009.
  51. Steve Kraske "Sebelius back on radar for Cabinet post". Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  52. Obama picks Sebelius as health secretary. Reuters.com. February 28, 2009. Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  53. "Second GOP senator to announce retirement". CNN.com Political Ticker. December 17, 2008.
  54. Silver, Nate (February 8, 2009). "Senate Rankings, February 2009 Edition". FiveThirtyEight.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  55. Quinn, Sean (February 19, 2009). "Conflicting Reports on Sebelius to HHS; Still a Strong Frontrunner". FiveThirtyEight.com.
  56. Kan. governor draws national attention, by John Hanna, Associated Press. Retrieved January 28, 2007
  57. Obama Taps Kansas Gov. Sebelius as Health Secretary Archived May 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine . Foxnews.com (April 7, 2010). Retrieved on 2012-02-11.
  58. "Abortion, not resume, could dominate Sebelius confirmation - CNN.com". CNN. March 2, 2009. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  59. "Sebelius admits errors, pays $7,000 in back taxes". Archived from the original on April 3, 2009. Retrieved April 3, 2009.. Yahoo News (March 31, 2009)
  60. O'Callaghan, John (March 31, 2009). "Health nominee Sebelius reveals tax errors". Reuters. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  61. Levey, Noam (April 1, 2009). "Sebelius and taxes: Health Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius, latest pick for President Barack Obama's Cabinet, to reveal tax problems". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 11, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2009.
  62. Pear, Robert (March 31, 2009). "Sebelius Pays Back Taxes". New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  63. Rubenstein, Sarah (April 1, 2009). "Sebelius Runs Into Tax Problems, But Daschle's Were Bigger". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2009.
  64. Goldstein, David (April 1, 2009). "Add Sebelius to list of Obama Cabinet picks with tax troubles". McClatchy. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  65. "Sebelius lowballed donations from abortion doc". MSNBC. April 14, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2009.
  66. Goldstein, David; Klepper, David (April 28, 2009). "Sebelius sworn in to Cabinet, Parkinson becomes Kansas governor". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  67. Sebelius wins panel approval as health secretary. MSNBC (April 21, 2009). Retrieved on 2012-02-11.
  68. Sebelius approved as HHS secretary. Cbsnews.com (April 29, 2009). Retrieved on 2012-02-11.
  69. Montopoli, Brian (April 28, 2009). "Health Secretary Sebelius Confirmed By Senate". CBS News.
  70. "U.S. Senate: Roll Call Vote". senate.gov. January 27, 2015.
  71. "Sebelius: 'Hold me accountable'". POLITICO.
  72. 1 2 3 Camia, Catalina (October 29, 2013). "Sen. Alexander calls on Sebelius to resign". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013. As the top official overseeing the implementation of the troubled healthcare.gov website testified before a House committee, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., on Tuesday called for Sebelius to step down.
  73. 1 2 3 "Sebelius says she doesn't 'work for' those calling for her resignation". FOXNews.com. October 24, 2013. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  74. "The 100 Most Powerful Women of 2009". Forbes.com. August 19, 2009.
  75. "The 100 Most Powerful Women 0f 2010". Forbes.com.
  76. "The 100 Most Powerful Women 0f 2011". Forbes.com.
  77. "Special counsel cites Sebelius for Hatch Act violation". cnn.com.
  78. Eilperin/Goldstein, Juliet/Amy. "Kathleen Sebelius steps down as HHS secretary; OMB director will take her place". Washington Post. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
  79. Carney, Timothy (April 10, 2011) Democrats will yield on everything but abortion Archived April 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine , Washington Examiner
  80. Cillizza, Chris (June 5, 2008). "Novak Takes A Swipe At Possible Obama VP Pick". Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  81. "Abortions in Kansas: Preliminary Reports". Office of Health Assessment, Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  82. 1 2 Corcoran, Nicole (April 21, 2008). "Veto Message for House Substitute for Senate Bill 389". Office of the Governor, State of Kansas. Office of the Governor, State of Kansas. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  83. Wind, Rebecca (January 17, 2008). "U.S. Abortion Rate Continues Long-Term Decline, Falling to Lowest Level Since 1974; More Effort Still Needed to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy". Guttmacher Institute Media Center. Guttmacher Institute. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  84. Novak, Robert (May 26, 2008). "A Vice President for Abortion". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times News Group. Retrieved May 26, 2008.
  85. Sullinger, Jim (May 30, 2008). "Kansas Senate fails to override veto of abortion law". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved June 11, 2008.[ dead link ]
  86. Duin, Julia (March 24, 2009). "Sebelius in trouble with Catholic Church". The Washington Times. The Washington Times. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  87. Sadowski, Dennis (May 12, 2008). "Archbishop Naumann: Kansas governor should stop receiving Communion". Catholic News Service. U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2008. [Naumann] said many Kansans "find it more than an embarrassment" that the state had become "infamous for being the late-term abortion center for the Midwest."
  88. "Rigid bishops one-up the popes". National Catholic Reporter. May 30, 2008. Archived from the original on January 28, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  89. Whelon, Patrick (May 14, 2008). "Conservatives gear up again to use Communion as a political weapon, no matter the cost to American Catholicism". Catholic Democrats. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
  90. "Archbishop asks Kansas governor to refrain from Communion for abortion support, awaits response". Catholic News Agency. May 12, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2009.
  91. Dave Helling "Buzz over possible Cabinet post for Sebelius has ignited a firestorm around her". Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  92. "Bill O'Reilly called George Tiller".
  93. "Abortion Doctor Gunned Down at Kansas Church, Suspect in Custody". Fox News. Archived from the original on November 11, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  94. Plan to Widen Availability of Morning-After Pill Is Rejected By GARDINER HARRIS, New York Times, December 7, 2011
  95. Obama defends Plan B decision 'as father of two daughters' By David Jackson, USA TODAY December 8, 2011
  96. Shear, Michael D. (May 1, 2013). "U.S. to Defend Age Limits on Morning-After Pill Sales". New York Times . Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  97. Sack, Kevin. "Kathleen Sebelius Biography". New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2008.
  98. "Full text of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' news release". cjonline.com. Archived from the original on June 7, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  99. "Australia and New Zealand Added to I-SaveRx Suppliers". ihealthbeat.org. Archived from the original on October 19, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  100. Passions cool as session looms – Few legislators say they'd defy court Kansas City Star June 20, 2005 retrieved June 5, 2008
  101. "Testimony of Kathleen Sebelius before the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee in Support of FY'07 Department of Energy Funding for Biofuels". Archived from the original on July 6, 2007. Retrieved July 6, 2007.. March 28, 2006
  102. "State Agency 'Green Teams' Focus on Recycling and Waste Reduction". WIBW-TV. March 4, 2008.
  103. "Sebelius vetoes coal plant bill". Kansas City Star. May 16, 2008.
  104. Kansas Governor Rejects Two Coal-Fired Power Plants. Ens-newswire.com. Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  105. LJWorld.com / Sebelius calls on feds to step up development of wind energy. .ljworld.com (June 2, 2008). Retrieved on 2012-02-11.
  106. Staff (November 30, 2012). "Lawmakers fear Kathleen Sebelius taking aim at natural gas boom". Beltway Confidential. The Examiner. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  107. "Sebelius vetoes concealed carry bill". Associated Press. April 16, 2004.
  108. USA Today (2005). Kansas governor vetoes concealed weapons bill. Retrieved June 14, 2007.
  109. "Kansas Concealed Weapon". Archived from the original on June 2, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2006.. Retrieved June 2, 2006.
  110. "Sebelius signs machine gun bill". Associated Press. April 22, 2008.[ permanent dead link ]
  111. Hanna, John (April 6, 2008). "Sebelius on gay marriage". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 5, 2005.
  112. "Bio". Sebelius Resources LLC. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  113. "Magistrate Judge K. Gary Sebelius". U.S. District Court, District of Kansas. U.S. Government. Archived from the original on April 1, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2008.
  114. Kathleen Sebelius. Notable Names Database
  115. Keith Spera. "Cabinet nominee Kathleen Sebelius grooved at Jazz Fest on Sunday (Just don't tell anyone her confirmation hearing is today.)" [ permanent dead link ] in Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2009 April 28, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A7.
  116. "An Obamacare Architect Speaks Out" Slate's The Gist, February 7, 2017.

Political offices
Preceded by
Ronald Todd
Kansas Insurance Commissioner
Succeeded by
Sandy Praeger
Preceded by
Bill Graves
Governor of Kansas
Succeeded by
Mark Parkinson
Preceded by
Mike Leavitt
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
Succeeded by
Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Sawyer
Democratic nominee for Governor of Kansas
2002, 2006
Succeeded by
Tom Holland
Preceded by
Bill Richardson
Chair of Democratic Governors Association
Succeeded by
Brian Schweitzer
Preceded by
Jim Webb
Response to the State of the Union address
Succeeded by
Bobby Jindal