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Alex Azar
Alex Azar official portrait 2.jpg
24th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
In office
January 29, 2018 – January 20, 2021
President Donald Trump
Deputy Eric Hargan
Preceded by Tom Price
Succeeded by Norris Cochran (acting)
Chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force
In office
January 29, 2020 – February 26, 2020
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Office established
Succeeded by Mike Pence
United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
In office
January 22, 2005 – February 4, 2007
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Claude Allen
Succeeded by Tevi Troy
General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services
In office
August 8, 2001 – January 22, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Harriet S. Rabb
Succeeded by Daniel Meron
Personal details
Born
Alex Michael Azar II

June 17, 1967 (1967-06-17) (age 54)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jennifer Reist
Children 2
Education Dartmouth College (BA)
Yale University (JD)
Net worth $8.7 million

Alex Michael Azar Jr. ( born June 17, 1967) is an American politician, attorney and former pharmaceutical executive who served as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2018 to 2021. Azar was nominated to his post by President Donald Trump on November 13, 2017, and confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 2018. He was also Chairman of the White House Coronavirus Task Force from its inception in January 2020 to February 2020, when he was replaced by Vice President Mike Pence.

Azar served as General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2001 to 2005. On July 22, 2005, he was confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services; he served in that capacity until his January 2007 resignation.

From 2012 to 2017, Azar was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, a major drug company, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a large pharmaceutical trade association.

Early life

Azar was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was raised in Salisbury, Maryland. He studied at Dartmouth College and at Yale University.

Career

Azar was as a law clerk for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and then as a law clerk for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1992 to 1993.

From 1994 to 1996, he served as an Associate Independent Counsel for Kenneth W. Starr in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel.

Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (2005–2007)

On August 3, 2001, Azar was confirmed to be the General Counsel of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

On July 22, 2005, Azar was confirmed as the United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was twice confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate. He worked under Secretary Mike Leavitt. Azar resigned in January 2007.

Business career

In June 2007, Azar joined Eli Lilly and Company as its Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications, where he “lead Lilly public affairs and lobbying efforts.”

On January 1, 2012, Azar became President of Lilly USA, LLC, the largest division of Eli Lilly and Company and was responsible for the company's entire operations in the United States. In January 2017, Azar resigned from Eli Lilly.

Secretary of Health and Human Services (since 2018)

On November 13, 2017, President Trump announced via Twitter that Azar was his nominee to be the next United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.

His nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 2018. He was sworn-in on January 29.

Resignation Letter

On January 12, 2021, Azar submitted his letter of resignation effective January 20, 2021. In his letter he cited the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the president's slow response to condemn it. As January 20th is also the inauguration day of President-elect Joe Biden's administration, the resignation letter is mostly symbolic as he would have left office that day regardless. He joins Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as having resigned from the US Cabinet in the wake of the Capitol attack.

Personal life

Azar is married to Jennifer Azar. They have two children. They live in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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