President Trump on Tuesday announced that he has appointed Eric Hargan as acting HHS secretary.
Hargan's appointment comes one week after the Senate voted 57-38 to confirm him as the department's deputy secretary. The Senate voted mostly along party lines to confirm Hargan, with Republicans largely voting in favor of his confirmation and Democrats largely voting against it.
Hargan will succeed Don Wright, who took over as HHS' acting secretary when former HHS Secretary Tom Price resigned on Sept. 29 over his use of private plans for work-related travel. According to Politico's "Pulse," the department has been led by five different people since January:
- Former HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell;
- Norris Cochran as acting HHS secretary;
- Wright as acting secretary; and
- Hargan as acting secretary, Politico's "Pulse" reports.
Hargan, who served on Trump's HHS transition team, held several positions at HHS from 2003 to 2007 under former President George W. Bush. Those roles included acting deputy secretary, deputy general counsel, and principal associate deputy secretary. After serving in the Bush administration, Hargan practiced law in Chicago. Hargan since the summer has participated in regulatory reform meetings at HHS, according to "Pulse."
In a statement on Hargan's Senate confirmation as HHS' deputy secretary, Wright said, "Hargan brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise and leadership experience to HHS," adding, "His commitment to public service and vast experience in the health care field will help guide the department as we advance President Trump's agenda on behalf of the American people" (Roubein, The Hill, 10/10; Roubein, The Hill, 10/4; Diamond, "Pulse," Politico, 10/11; Mishra, Reuters, 10/10; Marois, Bloomberg, 10/10; Tatum, CNN, 10/11).
How to establish a succession management process (before it’s too late)
Kate Vonderhaar, Practice Manager
With many senior leaders nearing retirement age, health care organizations need a concrete plan for who will fill critical roles—before those roles become vacant.
Join me on Tuesday, October 24 at 3 pm ET to learn common pitfalls to succession management and how to avoid them.