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February 2005Vol. 6, No. 1Leavitt Confirmed as New Secretary of Health and Human Services

Michael O. Leavitt, former Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was confirmed by the Senate on January 26, 2004, to be President George W. Bush's new Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Leavitt replaces Tommy Thompson, who was Secretary during President Bush's first term.

Prior to leading the EPA, Leavitt was the governor of Utah. During his tenure, Utah was widely regarded as one of the best-managed State governments in the country. In the area of child welfare, Governor Leavitt oversaw dramatic increases in funding for child welfare services, as well as reductions in the time children spent in foster care. He doubled the number of Utah's child welfare caseworkers and equipped these workers with key technology tools, including a state-of-the-art child welfare management information system.

In nominating Leavitt, President Bush called him "an ideal choice to lead one of the largest departments of the United States Government" and noted that HHS "touches the life of every person in this country." The President also praised Leavitt as a "man of great compassion."

A biography of the new Secretary can be found on the HHS website at