Biden HHS pick would be first openly transgender Senate-confirmed federal official

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Rachel Levine, MD, secretary of health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as his nominee for assistant secretary for health at HHS, according to a news release from his transition office.

If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Levine, who is also a professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, will be the first openly transgender Senate-confirmed federal official.

Dr. Levine's role in Pennsylvania includes leading the state's public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before becoming Pennsylvania secretary of health in March 2018, she served as physician general of the state and acting secretary of health. She also previously served as vice chair for clinical affairs for the pediatrics department and chief of the division of adolescent medicine and eating disorders at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Dr. Levine graduated from Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., and the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.


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