Mike Leavitt

Last updated
Mike Leavitt
Mike Leavitt.jpg
20th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
In office
January 26, 2005 January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Tommy Thompson
Succeeded by Kathleen Sebelius
10th Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
In office
November 6, 2003 January 26, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Christine T. Whitman
Succeeded by Stephen L. Johnson
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
August 10, 1999 July 11, 2000
Preceded by Tom Carper
Succeeded by Parris Glendening
14th Governor of Utah
In office
January 4, 1993 November 5, 2003
LieutenantOlene Walker
Preceded by Norman H. Bangerter
Succeeded by Olene Walker
Personal details
Born
Michael Okerlund Leavitt

(1951-02-11) February 11, 1951 (age 68)
Cedar City, Utah, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Jacalyn Smith
Children5
Education Southern Utah University (BA)

Michael Okerlund Leavitt (born February 11, 1951) is an American politician who served as the 14th Governor of Utah from 1993 to 2003 in the Republican Party, as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 2003 to 2005 and as Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2005 to 2009.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency is the head of the United States federal government's Environmental Protection Agency, and is thus responsible for enforcing the nation's Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, as well as numerous other environmental statutes. The Administrator is nominated by the President of the United States and must be confirmed by a vote of the Senate. The office of Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1970 in legislation that created the agency.

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.

Contents

Leavitt serves as a co-leader of the Prevention Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. [1]

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a Washington, D.C.–based think tank that actively promotes bipartisanship. The organization combines the best ideas from both the Republican and Democratic parties to address the nation's key challenges. BPC focuses on a range of issues including health, energy, national security, the economy, housing, immigration, infrastructure, governance, and education.

Early life and family

Leavitt was born in Cedar City, Utah, the son of Phyllis Anne (Okerlund) and Dixie Lorraine Leavitt. [2] [3] Leavitt graduated with a degree in business from Southern Utah University and married Jacalyn Smith. They have five children.

Cedar City, Utah City in Utah, United States

Cedar City is the largest city in Iron County, Utah, United States. It is located 250 miles (400 km) south of Salt Lake City, and 170 miles (270 km) north of Las Vegas on Interstate 15. It is the home of Southern Utah University, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Utah Summer Games, the Neil Simon Theatre Festival, and other events. As of the 2010 census the city had a population of 28,857, up from 20,257 in 2000. As of 2016 the estimated population was 31,223.

Dixie L. Leavitt is an American entrepreneur and state legislator who served as a Republican member of the Utah State House of Representatives and Senate from 1963 to 1976, and from 1989 to 1992 from Utah's 24th house district and 11th and 29th senate districts. He is the founder of the Leavitt Group, one of the largest independent insurance brokerages in the nation, and is the father of former Utah governor Mike Leavitt.

Business organization involved in commercial, industrial, or professional activity

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products. Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."

Leavitt is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nontrinitarian Christian restorationist church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.

Leavitt is a descendant of an old Massachusetts Puritan family, and a direct descendant of Dudley Leavitt, a Mormon pioneer.

Massachusetts State of the United States of America

Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.

Dudley Leavitt American Mormon leader

Dudley Leavitt was an early patriarch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon pioneer and an early settler in southern Utah.

Early career

Leavitt's business career started with his joining The Leavitt Group, a regional insurance company founded by his father, Dixie L. Leavitt. He rose to become the company's president and CEO and presided over a period of expansion. He was subsequently appointed to the boards of directors of numerous local and regional companies, including Utah Power and Light, as well as a member of the Utah State Board of Regents. As a regent, he helped oversee Utah's nine public colleges and universities. For four years, he was chair of Southern Utah University's board of trustees. [4]

The Leavitt Group is an organization of affiliated independent insurance agencies with over 115 locations across the United States. According to their corporate website, The Leavitt Group was founded in 1952 when Dixie Leavitt opened an insurance agency in the town of Cedar City, Utah. The Leavitt Group headquarters is still located in Cedar City.

In 1976, Leavitt assisted his father, then a Utah state senator, in an unsuccessful campaign for governor. He worked on a number of U.S. Senate campaigns through the 1980s for Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch. [4]

Government service

Governor of Utah

Leavitt first ran for governor in 1992. He had tough competition in the Republican Party primary from Richard Eyre who had more delegates vote for him at the state Republican convention. He defeated Independent Party candidate Merrill Cook and Democratic nominee Stewart Hanson in the general election, becoming the 14th Governor of the State of Utah.

A holiday fire shortly before noon on December 15, 1993, destroyed much of the Utah Governor's Mansion, but spared the lives of the first family and staff (Jacalyn Leavitt and some members of the family and staff were in the home at the time of the fire).

Leavitt was re-elected in 1996 with the largest vote total in state history. While Governor, he and Roy Romer of Colorado were the two key founders of Western Governors University in 1997, one of the first exclusively online schools in the nation. In addition to Leavitt and Romer, 17 other governors signed legislation creating the school as a non-profit private university.

Leavitt came under strong criticism in 1998, while Governor, when asked why polygamy is not often prosecuted, he stated he was not sure, however "it may fall under religious freedoms." He was later forced to backpedal and claimed that polygamy should be against the law. [5]

In 2000, Leavitt became only the second governor in Utah history to be re-elected to a third term. As governor, he held leadership positions in national and regional organizations, such as the Council of State Governments, over which he presided for a year.

EPA Administrator

On August 11, 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Leavitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency at a press conference in Aurora, Colorado. He was confirmed on October 28, 2003 by a vote of 888 in the United States Senate. On November 5, having resigned the governorship, Leavitt was sworn in as the 10th Administrator of the EPA.

At the Environmental Protection Agency he implemented higher standards for ozone, diesel fuels and other air pollutants. He organized and managed a collaboration to develop a federal plan to clean up the Great Lakes.

Secretary of Health and Human Services

On December 13, 2004, Leavitt was nominated by Bush to succeed Tommy Thompson as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and was confirmed by the Senate by voice vote on January 26, 2005.

Leavitt was commonly known for his advocating that Medicare was drifting toward disaster. He claimed Congress neglected his notions.

In June 2006, Leavitt came under criticism for using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Gulfstream III Emergency Response aircraft to, primarily, promote the newly reformed Medicare plan. Critics argue that Leavitt irresponsibly used the aircraft beginning in January 2006, logging over $700,000 worth of flight time in the 14-seat private jet. Leavitt’s office maintains that the use of the aircraft was necessary and legal since the Senate Appropriations Committee approved his use of the aircraft, and commercial services could not meet the deadlines required by his engagements.

Leavitt has described the avian influenza virus as the most serious threat to American security. Secretary Leavitt cited the work of the World Health Organization's Dr. Michael McCoy as the most compelling scientific work into the avian flu threat. This encouraged Secretary Leavitt to mobilize the nation’s pandemic preparedness and led to the reconfiguring of the nation’s medical emergency plans.

Leavitt also served on the Homeland Security Advisory Council. In August 2007, Leavitt became the first cabinet-level blogger in U.S. history.[ citation needed ]

Advisor to Mitt Romney

In August 2012, Politico reported Leavitt to be "creating a government-in-waiting plan for Mitt Romney" and "a lock for... White House chief of staff or Treasury secretary" in a potential Romney administration. [6]

Leavitt Foundation

Leavitt's family charitable foundation, the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Foundation, was established by the Leavitt family in 2000, and the family has donated nearly $9 million of assets to it since. It has provided them with tax write-offs for the donated assets. About a third of the foundation's assets have been loaned back to family businesses, such as a $332,000 loan to Leavitt Land and Investment Inc., in which Leavitt has an interest. According to a 2006 National Public Radio report, these loans were legal because they were made at market rates. [7] A month following the NPR report, Congress made such transactions illegal.

The same NPR report revealed that nearly $500,000 in charitable contributions provided to the Southern Utah Foundation were used for housing scholarships to Southern Utah University.[ citation needed ] The scholarships were subsequently used to place students in the Cedar Development Co., a Leavitt family business, with the money used to pay the students' rent. NPR's investigation found that the arrangement was legal and that the Leavitts did not profit from the arrangement. Although legal, the procedure, called "round-tripping" in philanthropic circles, has garnered criticism as lacking in the spirit of philanthropy. [7] The report also stated that Leavitt was not directly involved in the foundation's operations.[ citation needed ]

Total charitable grants from the foundation during its first six years were $1,468,055. The foundation's principal beneficiaries have been Southern Utah University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other beneficiaries have included arts, educational and humanitarian organizations, including the Leavitt family genealogical society.[ citation needed ]

Leavitt Partners

Leavitt Partners is a consulting firm created by Leavitt to advise clients in the health care and food safety sectors. The firm is also involved in helping the states implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "ObamaCare." [8]

Electoral history

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References

  1. "Policy Topic: Health | Bipartisan Policy Center". Bipartisanpolicy.org. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  2. "England Leeds Mission Alumni | Presidents". Mission.net. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  3. "Obituary: Phyllis M. Okerlund". Deseret News . Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  4. 1 2 Haymond, Jay M. (1994), "Leavitt, Michael Okerlund", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN   0874804256, OCLC   30473917
  5. Salt Lake City Tribune, August 9 and 29, 1998.
  6. "Who’s on the inside track for a Romney Cabinet" by MIKE ALLEN and JIM VANDEHEI, Politico, August 28, 2012, Retrieved 2012-08-28
  7. 1 2 "Leavitt Charity's $500,000 Returns, in the Form of Rent". NPR. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
  8. Cannon, Michael (2011-06-28) Republicans Getting Rich off ObamaCare, Cato Institute

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Michael O. Leavitt at Wikimedia Commons

Party political offices
Preceded by
Norm Bangerter
Republican nominee for Governor of Utah
1992, 1996, 2000
Succeeded by
Jon Huntsman
Preceded by
Jock McKernan
Chair of the Republican Governors Association
1994–1995
Succeeded by
John Engler
Political offices
Preceded by
Norm Bangerter
Governor of Utah
1993–2003
Succeeded by
Olene Walker
Preceded by
Tom Carper
Chair of the National Governors Association
1999–2000
Succeeded by
Parris Glendening
Preceded by
Christine Whitman
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Stephen Johnson
Preceded by
Tommy Thompson
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
2005–2009
Succeeded by
Kathleen Sebelius