In a series of new cabinet appointments, President George Bush has nominated Michael Leavitt, current Administrator of the Environment Protection Agency, to be the next Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If approved, Leavitt would replace Tommy Thompson.
Leavitt served three-terms as governor of Utah before joining the administration in 2000. In President Bush's nomination speech, he said the without a doubt Leavitt is the right man for the job. But the road ahead will not be an easy one. "When confirmed by the Senate, Mike Leavitt will be charged with a broad agenda for the health and safety of the American people," he says.
Hunt Shipman, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications for the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) says "Leavitt is well-qualified to lead HHS." Shipman adds that Leavitt has "been a strong and effective leader at EPA, and his extensive background in government will serve him well as he oversees HHS and its many activities."
Because Leavitt will be leaving his post as EPA administrator, a replacement will need to be found. There is no indication of who that might be.
In other cabinet news, Bush nominated Sam Bodman as Secretary of Energy to replace Specter Abraham. Prior Bodman served in the Bush administration as Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.