en.m.wikipedia.org
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
The United States secretary of health and human services is the head of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and serves as the principal advisor to the president of the United States on all health matters. The secretary is a member of the United States Cabinet. The office was formerly Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1980, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was renamed the Department of Health and Human Services, and its education functions and Rehabilitation Services Administration were transferred to the new United States Department of Education.[2] Patricia Roberts Harris headed the department before and after it was renamed.[3]
United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

Seal of the Department

Flag of the Secretary
Incumbent
Xavier Becerra
since March 19, 2021
United States Department of Health and Human Services
StyleMr. Secretary
(informal)
The Honorable
(formal)
Member ofCabinet
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatHubert H. Humphrey Building, Washington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
Constituting instrumentReorganization Plan No. 1 of 1953
67 Stat. 631
42 U.S.C. § 3501
PrecursorSecretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
FormationMay 4, 1980
First holderPatricia Roberts Harris
SuccessionTwelfth[1]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I
Websitewww.hhs.gov
Nominations to the office of Secretary of HHS are referred to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the United States Senate Committee on Finance, which has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid,[4] before confirmation is considered by the full United States Senate.
Secretary of Health and Human Services is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule,[5] thus earning a salary of US$221,400, as of January 2021.[6]
Xavier Becerra has served as the 25th United States secretary of health and human services since March 19, 2021, the first person of Hispanic descent to hold the post.
Duties
The flag of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, the predecessor to the current office.
The duties of the secretary revolve around human conditions and concerns in the United States. This includes advising the president on matters of health, welfare, and income security programs. The secretary strives to administer the Department of Health and Human Services to carry out approved programs and make the public aware of the objectives of the department.[7]
The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was reorganized into a Department of Education and a Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS).
The Department of Health and Human Services oversees 11 agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).[8]
List of secretaries
Parties
  Democratic (9)  Republican (15)  Independent (1)
Status
  Denotes acting HHS Secretary
  Nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services
Health, education, and welfare
No.PortraitNameState of residenceTook officeLeft officePresident(s)
1
Oveta Culp HobbyTexasApril 11, 1953July 31, 1955Dwight D. Eisenhower
2
Marion B. FolsomNew YorkAugust 2, 1955July 31, 1958
3
Arthur S. FlemmingOhioAugust 1, 1958January 19, 1961
4
Abraham A. RibicoffConnecticutJanuary 21, 1961July 13, 1962John F. Kennedy
5
Anthony J. CelebrezzeOhioJuly 31, 1962August 17, 1965
Lyndon B. Johnson
6
John W. GardnerCaliforniaAugust 18, 1965March 1, 1968
7
Wilbur J. CohenMichiganMay 16, 1968January 20, 1969
8
Robert H. FinchCaliforniaJanuary 21, 1969June 23, 1970Richard Nixon
9
Elliot L. RichardsonMassachusettsJune 24, 1970January 29, 1973
10
Caspar WeinbergerCaliforniaFebruary 12, 1973August 8, 1975
Gerald Ford
11
F. David MathewsAlabamaAugust 8, 1975January 20, 1977
12
Joseph A. Califano Jr.District of ColumbiaJanuary 25, 1977August 3, 1979Jimmy Carter
13
Patricia Roberts HarrisDistrict of ColumbiaAugust 3, 1979May 4, 1980[9]
Health and human services
No.PortraitNameState of residenceTook officeLeft officePresident(s)
13
Patricia Roberts HarrisDistrict of ColumbiaMay 4, 1980[9]January 20, 1981Jimmy Carter
14
Richard S. SchweikerPennsylvaniaJanuary 22, 1981February 3, 1983Ronald Reagan
Speedy LongLouisianaFebruary 3, 1983March 9, 1983
15
Margaret M. HecklerMassachusettsMarch 9, 1983December 13, 1985
16
Otis R. BowenIndianaDecember 13, 1985March 1, 1989
17
Louis Wade SullivanGeorgiaMarch 1, 1989January 20, 1993George H. W. Bush
18
Donna ShalalaWisconsinJanuary 22, 1993January 20, 2001Bill Clinton
19
Tommy G. ThompsonWisconsinFebruary 2, 2001January 26, 2005George W. Bush
20
Michael O. LeavittUtahJanuary 26, 2005January 20, 2009
Charles E. JohnsonUtahJanuary 20, 2009April 28, 2009Barack Obama
21
Kathleen SebeliusKansasApril 28, 2009June 9, 2014
22
Sylvia Mathews BurwellWest VirginiaJune 9, 2014January 20, 2017
Norris CochranFloridaJanuary 20, 2017February 10, 2017Donald Trump
23
Tom PriceGeorgiaFebruary 10, 2017September 29, 2017
Don J. WrightVirginiaSeptember 29, 2017October 10, 2017
Eric HarganIllinoisOctober 10, 2017January 29, 2018
24
Alex AzarIndianaJanuary 29, 2018January 20, 2021
Norris CochranFloridaJanuary 20, 2021March 19, 2021Joe Biden
25
Xavier BecerraCaliforniaMarch 19, 2021Incumbent
Line of succession
The line of succession for the Secretary of Health and Human Services is as follows:[10]
  1. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.
  2. General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services
  3. Assistant Secretary for Administration
  4. Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
  5. Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  6. Commissioner of Food and Drugs
  7. Director of the National Institutes of Health
  8. Assistant Secretary for Children and Families
  9. Other Assistant Secretaries (following in the order they took the oath of office)
    1. Assistant Secretary for Health
    2. Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
    3. Assistant Secretary for Legislation
    4. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
    5. Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources
    6. Assistant Secretary for Aging
  10. Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  11. Director, Region 4 (Atlanta, Georgia)
Living former secretaries
See also: List of living former members of the United States Cabinet
Health, education, and welfare
As of May 2021, there are two living former secretaries of health, education and welfare, the older being Joseph A. Califano Jr. (served 1977–1979, born 1931). The most recent secretary of health, education and welfare to die was Caspar Weinberger (served 1973–1975, born 1917), on March 28, 2006. The most recently serving secretary to die was Patricia Roberts Harris (served 1979–1980, born 1924) on March 23, 1985.
NameTermDate of birth (and age)
F. David Mathews1975–1977December 6, 1935 (age 85)
Joseph A. Califano Jr.1977–1979May 15, 1931 (age 89)
Health and human services
A gathering of five secretaries in June 2015
As of May 2021, there are eight living former secretaries of health and human services, the oldest being Louis W. Sullivan (served 1989–1993, born 1933); The most recent secretary of health and human services to die was Margaret Heckler (served 1983–1985, born 1931), on August 6, 2018. The most recently serving secretary to die was Otis R. Bowen (served 1985–1989) on May 4, 2013.
NameTermDate of birth (and age)
Louis W. Sullivan1989–1993November 3, 1933 (age 87)
Donna Shalala1993–2001February 14, 1941 (age 80)
Tommy Thompson2001–2005November 19, 1941 (age 79)
Mike Leavitt2005–2009February 11, 1951 (age 70)
Kathleen Sebelius2009–2014May 15, 1948 (age 72)
Sylvia Mathews Burwell2014–2017June 23, 1965 (age 55)
Tom Price2017October 8, 1954 (age 66)
Alex Azar2018–2021June 17, 1967 (age 53)
References
  1. ^ "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  2. ^ Holbrook, M. Cay (February 6, 2017). Foundations of Education: History and theory of teaching children and youths with visual impairments. American Foundation for the Blind. ISBN 9780891283409.
  3. ^ "Patricia R. Harris (1977–1979)—Miller Center". millercenter.org. Archived from the original on February 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  4. ^ "Jurisdiction | The United States Senate Committee on Finance". finance.senate.gov. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  5. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 5312
  6. ^ "Salary Table No. 2021-EX Rates of Basic Pay for the Executive Schedule (EX)" (PDF).
  7. ^ "The President's Cabinet". Ben's Guide. February 1, 2007. Retrieved November 15, 2007.
  8. ^ "HHS Agencies & Offices | HHS.gov". Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Harris was Secretary on May 4, 1980, when the office changed names from Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to Secretary of Health and Human Services. Because the department merely changed names, she did not need to be confirmed again, and her term continued uninterrupted.
  10. ^ "Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Health and Human Services". Federal Register. February 20, 2008. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
External links
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Marty Walsh
as Secretary of Labor
Order of precedence of the United States
as Secretary of Health and Human Services
Succeeded by
Marcia Fudge
as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Labor
Marty Walsh
12th in lineSucceeded by
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Marcia Fudge
Last edited on 8 April 2021, at 13:59
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Privacy policy
Terms of Use
Desktop
HomeRandomNearbyLog inSettingsDonateAbout WikipediaDisclaimers
LanguageWatchEdit