Kathleen Sebelius is Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Since taking office in April 2009, she has led ambitious efforts to improve Americaís health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the nationís most vulnerable populations, including young children, those with disabilities, and the elderly.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, Sebelius is implementing reforms that end many insurance industry abuses, and will help uninsured Americans get health coverage. Under the law, she is also carrying out policies that put new focus on wellness and prevention, support the adoption of electronic medical records, and help recruit and train more primary care health providers.
In addition, she is working to slow the growth in health care costs through better care and better health. Under her leadership, HHS has formed a partnership with the Department of Justice to stamp out health care fraud that has already returned record sums to the Medicare Trust Fund. It is also promoting public-private collaboration to bring life-saving treatments and medicines to market. HHS is working further to build a food safety system that will prevent outbreaks before they occur, and it is collaborating with the Department of Education to help states increase the quality of early childhood education programs.
As Americaís top health official, Sebelius leads the nationís emergency health response to crises and natural disasters, and she continues to work with international partners to confront global health issues like polio, HIV/AIDS, and the growing costs of chronic disease around the world.
Forbes has named Sebelius one of the 100 most powerful women in the world. Before her Cabinet appointment, she served as Governor of Kansas beginning in 2003, where she was named one of Americaís Top Five Governors by Time magazine. From 1995 to 2003, she served as Kansas Insurance Commissioner, having been a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995.
Sebelius is the first daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history; her father John Gilligan served as Ohioís Governor from 1971 to 1975. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas and a BA from Trinity Washington University. She is married to Gary Sebelius, a federal magistrate judge. They have two sons, John and Ned, and a daughter-in-law, Lisa.