Assistant Secretary for Health

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Assistant Secretary for Health
United States Public Health Service (seal).svg
Seal of the United States Public Health Service, 1798
Flag of the United States Assistant Secretary for Health.svg
Flag of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Admiral Rachel L. Levine.jpg
Incumbent
Admiral Rachel Levine, USPHS

since March 26, 2021
U.S. Public Health Service
Commissioned Corps
StyleAssistant Secretary
Admiral[1]
AbbreviationASH
ADM[1]
Reports toSecretary of Health and Human Services
SeatHubert H. Humphrey Building, United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Washington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with United States Senate advice and consent
Term length4 years
Constituting instrument42 U.S.C. § 202 and
42 U.S.C. § 207
FormationNovember 2, 1965; 57 years ago (1965-11-02)
First holderPhilip R. Lee
WebsiteOfficial website

The assistant secretary for health (ASH) is a senior U.S. government official within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The position is a statutory office (42 U.S.C. § 202) and the holder of the office serves as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services's primary advisor on matters involving the nation's public health. The assistant secretary oversees all matters pertaining to the United States Public Health Service (PHS), the main division of the Department of Health and Human Services, for the secretary, and provides strategic and policy direction. The Public Health Service comprises almost all of the agency divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services including the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, one of the eight federal uniformed services, comprising more than 6,500 uniformed health professionals who serve with the Department of Health and Human Services, or are assigned to work within other federal agencies, including the United States Armed Forces.

The assistant secretary is a civilian or a uniformed officer of the commissioned corps and is nominated for appointment by the president. The nominee must also be confirmed via majority by the Senate. The assistant secretary serves a nominal four-year term at the pleasure of the president. If the appointee is also a serving uniformed officer of the commissioned corps, by statute, he or she is appointed as a four-star admiral and is the highest ranking officer in the commissioned corps,[2][3] as no other position in the Public Health Service is designated as a four-star office. The president may also nominate a civilian appointee to also be appointed a direct commission in the commissioned corps if the nominee so chooses.[3][4] The assistant secretary's office and its staff make up the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). The current assistant secretary for health is Admiral Rachel Levine.

History[edit]

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and Scientific Affairs was established on January 1, 1967, following Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1966. The plan allowed the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to restructure the Public Health Service to better serve public health.[5] The office was renamed the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health following the Department of Education Organization Act in 1972.[5]

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health[edit]

As of 2018, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health oversees 12 core public health offices, 10 regional health offices, and 10 presidential and secretarial advisory committees.[6] Prior to 2010, the office was known as the Office of Public Health and Science.[7]

The stars, shoulder boards, and sleeve stripes of the Assistant Secretary for Health if serving in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

List of Assistant Secretaries for Health[edit]

No. Assistant secretary Term Pay schedule or
Service branch
Portrait Name Took office Left office Term length
1
Philip R. Lee
Philip R. LeeNovember 2, 196519693 yearsFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
2
Roger O. Egeberg
Roger O. EgebergJuly 14, 196919712 yearsFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
3
Merlin K. DuVal
Merlin K. DuValJuly 1, 1971January 20, 19731 year, 203 daysFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
4
Charles C. Edwards
Charles C. EdwardsApril 18, 1973January 5, 19751 year, 262 daysFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
5
Theodore Cooper
Theodore CooperJuly 1, 197519772 yearsFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
6
Julius B. Richmond
Vice Admiral
Julius B. Richmond
July 13, 1977May 14, 19813 years, 305 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
7
Edward Brandt Jr.
Edward Brandt Jr.198119843 yearsFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
8
Robert E. Windom
Robert E. Windom198619893 yearsFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
9
James O. Mason
Admiral
James O. Mason
198919934 yearsSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
10
Philip R. Lee
Philip R. LeeJuly 2, 199319985 yearsFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
11
David Satcher
Admiral
David Satcher
February 13, 1998January 20, 20012 years, 342 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
-
Arthur J. Lawrence[8]
Rear Admiral
Arthur J. Lawrence[8]
Acting
January 20, 2001February 8, 20021 year, 19 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
12
Eve Slater
Eve SlaterFebruary 8, 2002February 5, 2003362 daysFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
-
Cristina V. Beato
Rear Admiral
Cristina V. Beato
Acting
February 5, 2003January 4, 20062 years, 333 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
13
John O. Agwunobi
Admiral
John O. Agwunobi
January 4, 2006September 4, 20071 year, 243 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
14
Joxel García
Admiral
Joxel García
March 28, 2008January 20, 2009298 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
-
Steven K. Galson
Rear Admiral
Steven K. Galson
Acting
January 22, 2009June 22, 2009151 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
15
Howard K. Koh
Howard K. KohJune 22, 2009August 1, 20145 years, 40 daysFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
-
Karen B. DeSalvo
Karen B. DeSalvo
Acting
October 2014January 3, 2017More than 2 years[9]Flag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
-
Don J. Wright
Don J. Wright
Acting
January 4, 2017February 15, 20181 year, 42 daysFlag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg
Executive
Schedule IV
16
Brett P. Giroir
Admiral
Brett P. Giroir
February 15, 2018January 19, 20212 years, 339 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
-
Felicia L. Collins
Rear Admiral
Felicia L. Collins
Acting
January 21, 2021March 26, 202164 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service
17
Rachel L. Levine[10]
Admiral
Rachel L. Levine[10]
March 26, 2021Incumbent1 year, 239 daysSeal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps.png
U.S. Public
Health Service

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b If also serving in uniform as a Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officer.
  2. ^ "PHSCC Uniforms". Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "42 USC 207. Grades, ranks, and titles of commissioned corps". Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  4. ^ "Regular Corps Assimilation Program" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 8, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  5. ^ a b [1] Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health [OASH].
  6. ^ "Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH)". HHS.gov. March 30, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH)". September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Rear Admiral Arthur J. Lawrence". Council on Strategic Risks. April 24, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2021.
  9. ^ Received a recess appointment on January 1, 2016 to continue serving as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Health until the end of fiscal year 2016.
  10. ^ Received her commission and four-star rank on October 19, 2021.

External links[edit]