Sylvia Burwell, Obama's New Health Secretary: Everything You Need To Know
When Kathleen Sebelius resigned as secretary of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there was only one person Obama considered to replace her, according to the Wall Street Journal. On Thursday, the Senate approved that woman — Sylvia Mathews Burwell — as the 22nd U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary. Burwell was voted in by a 78-17 majority, and will be sworn in June 9.
Here are some fun facts about your brand-new HHS secretary, suitable for impressing people at politically-minded cocktail parties all weekend long...
- Burwell's straight out of a small town in West Virginia
- She's headed up a number of philanthropic organizations, including the Walmart Foundation and the Global Development arm of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- She was on the board of directors at MetLife, a health insurer
- She's got bipartisan cred: Paul Ryan once praised her, saying she's "led an impressive career in both the public and private sectors. She has firsthand experience in budgeting responsibly."
- She's Greek-American
- She has degrees from Harvard and Oxford universities
- Until now, she's been former Office of Management and Budget Director
Shortly after Sebelius' resignation, the president nominated Burwell for the position, saying she had a record of fantastic performance and excelled even during the government shutdown in the fall of 2013.
When the government was forced to shut down last October, and even as her own team was barred from reporting to work, Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand on the wheel who helped navigate the country through a very challenging time