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PRESIDENT BUSH NOMINATES NEW HHS SECRETARY

This morning President Bush nominated EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt to replace Tommy Thompson as Health and Human Services secretary. Before joining the Environmental Protection Agency in November 2003, Leavitt, 53, was governor of Utah for 11 years. Michael O. Leavitt was sworn in as the 10th Administrator of the …

This morning President Bush nominated EPA Administrator Michael O.
Leavitt
to replace Tommy Thompson as Health and Human Services secretary.
Before
joining the Environmental Protection Agency in November 2003, Leavitt,
53,
was governor of Utah for 11 years.

Michael O. Leavitt was sworn in as the 10th Administrator of the United
States Environmental Protection Agency on November 6, 2003. Prior to
leading the agency, Leavitt served as Utah’s 14th governor for three
terms
and was a national leader on homeland security, welfare reform and
environmental management. In addition, he improved child welfare
services
in Utah and made strides toward expanding access to health care for
children.

During Leavitt’s administration, Utah was named one of the best managed
state governments in the country. Leavitt also led his state during
the
2002 Olympic Winter Games, the most environmentally-sensitive games
ever.
Administrator Leavitt will be charged with a broad agenda for the
health and
safety of the American people, including implementation of the
first-ever
prescription drug benefit for seniors under Medicare. He will also be
charged with expanding federal cooperation with faith-based groups that
provide essential services, such as counseling and treatment for
addictions;
continuing to pursue the promise of medical research, always ensuring
that
the work is carried out with vigor and moral integrity; and protecting
the
American people from disease, and the use of disease as a weapon
against us.

Born February 11, 1951, in Cedar City, Utah, Leavitt graduated with a
bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Southern Utah
University.
After earning his degree, he eventually became president and chief
executive
officer of a regional insurance firm, establishing it as one of the top
insurance brokers in America. He is married to Jacalyn S. Leavitt;
they are
the parents of five children.