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Name: Leavitt, Mike
Current Position: Former Secretary
A native of Cedar City, Utah, Michael O. Leavitt served as the 20th Secretary of Health and Human Services from January 26, 2005, until the end of the Bush administrationn. Leavitt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business from Southern Utah University.
Prior to his career in public service, Leavitt served as president and chief executive officer of a regional insurance firm, establishing it as one of the top insurance brokers in America.
Leavitt then ran for governor of Utah and was elected in 1992. He was re-elected in 1996 and in 2000, becoming only the second governor in Utah history to be re-elected to a third term.
Leavitt joined the Bush administration in 2003 as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a post he held until taking over HHS. As the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Leavitt became the first cabinet-level blogger in US history. He has also been accused of misusing government aircraft. Following the passage of the Bush administration’s Medicare reform plan, Leavitt used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Gulfstream III Emergency Response aircraft to promote the new plan.
Leavitt’s office maintained that the Senate Appropriations Committee had sanctioned the use of the aircraft. While using the Gulfstream, however, CDC had to charter private aircraft to respond to emergencies.
There has also been controversy over Leavitt’s family charitable foundation, the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Foundation, which the Leavitt family established in 2000 and to which it has donated nearly $9 million of assets. According to reports, about a third of the foundation’s assets have been loaned back to family businesses, such as a $332,000 loan to Leavitt Land and Investment Inc., in which Mike Leavitt had a substantial interest.
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