United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

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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

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.

List of Secretaries of Health and Human[change | change source]

Parties

  Democratic (9)   Republican (15)   Independent (1)

Status

  Denotes acting HHS Secretary

  Nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services

Secretaries of Health, Education, and Welfare[change | change source]

No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office President(s)
1 Oveta Culp Hobby Texas April 11, 1953 July 31, 1955 Dwight D. Eisenhower
2 Marion B. Folsom New York August 2, 1955 July 31, 1958
3 Arthur S. Flemming Ohio August 1, 1958 January 19, 1961
4 Abraham A. Ribicoff Connecticut January 21, 1961 July 13, 1962 John F. Kennedy
5 Anthony J. Celebrezze Ohio July 31, 1962 August 17, 1965
Lyndon B. Johnson
6 John W. Gardner California August 18, 1965 March 1, 1968
7 Wilbur J. Cohen Michigan May 16, 1968 January 20, 1969
8 Robert H. Finch California January 21, 1969 June 23, 1970 Richard Nixon
9 Elliot L. Richardson Massachusetts June 24, 1970 January 29, 1973
10 Caspar Weinberger California February 12, 1973 August 8, 1975
Gerald Ford
11 F. David Mathews Alabama August 8, 1975 January 20, 1977
12 Joseph A. Califano Jr. District of Columbia January 25, 1977 August 3, 1979 Jimmy Carter
13 Patricia Roberts Harris District of Columbia August 3, 1979 May 4, 1980[2]

Secretaries of Health and Human Services[change | change source]

No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office President(s)
13 Patricia Roberts Harris District of Columbia May 4, 1980[2] January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
14 Richard S. Schweiker Pennsylvania January 22, 1981 February 3, 1983 Ronald Reagan
Speedy Long Louisiana February 3, 1983 March 9, 1983
15 Margaret M. Heckler Massachusetts March 9, 1983 December 13, 1985
16 Otis R. Bowen Indiana December 13, 1985 March 1, 1989
17 Louis Wade Sullivan Georgia March 1, 1989 January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
18 Donna Shalala Wisconsin January 22, 1993 January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
19 Tommy G. Thompson Wisconsin February 2, 2001 January 26, 2005 George W. Bush
20 Michael O. Leavitt Utah January 26, 2005 January 20, 2009
Charles E. Johnson Utah January 20, 2009 April 28, 2009 Barack Obama
21 Kathleen Sebelius Kansas April 28, 2009 June 9, 2014
22 Sylvia Mathews Burwell West Virginia June 9, 2014 January 20, 2017
Norris Cochran Florida January 20, 2017 February 10, 2017 Donald Trump
23 Tom Price Georgia February 10, 2017 September 29, 2017
Don J. Wright Virginia September 29, 2017 October 10, 2017
Eric Hargan Illinois October 10, 2017 January 29, 2018
24 Alex Azar Indiana January 29, 2018 January 20, 2021
Norris Cochran Florida January 20, 2021 March 19, 2021 Joe Biden
25 Xavier Becerra California March 19, 2021 Incumbent

References[change | change source]

  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. 2.0 2.1 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.