by Jasmine Batchelor
February 22, 2018
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Alex M. Azar II was sworn in as the Secretary of Health and Human Services on Jan. 29, 2018. Azar has spent his career working in both the public and private sectors, as an attorney and in senior leadership roles focused on advancing healthcare reform, research and innovation.
From 2001 to 2007, Azar served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – first as its General Counsel (2001–2005) and then as Deputy Secretary. During his time as Deputy Secretary, Azar was involved in improving the department’s operations; advancing its emergency preparedness and response capabilities as well as its global health affairs activities; and helping oversee the rollout of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.
In 2007, Azar rejoined the private sector as senior vice president for corporate affairs and communications at Eli Lilly and Co. From 2012 to 2017, he served as president of Lilly USA LLC, the company’s largest affiliate.
Azar clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia prior to practicing law for several years.
Azar graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Dartmouth College and earned his law degree from Yale University.