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Executive Council


Secretary Tommy Thompson



Secretary Tommy Thompson has a long and distinguished career in public service. From 2001 to 2005 Secretary Thompson was the head of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), which employs more than 60,000 personnel and has a fiscal year 2005 budget of $584 billion.

As the leader of HHS, Secretary Thompson served as the nation’s leading advocate for the health and welfare of all Americans. He worked to modernize and add prescription drug coverage to Medicare for the first time in the program’s history. A strong proponent of welfare reform, he also focused on expanding services to seniors, the disabled and low-income Americans. In addition, he reinvigorated the nation’s public health infrastructure by providing states and communities with the resources they need to respond to terrorist attacks or any other public health emergency.

As governor of Wisconsin from 1987 to 2001, Secretary Thompson was perhaps best known for his efforts to revitalize the Wisconsin economy, for his national leadership on welfare reform, and for his work in expanding health care access across all segments of society. As of November 2000, The BadgerCare program - Wisconsin's Medicaid/State Children's Health Insurance Program for uninsured families - had enrolled more than 77,000 individuals. In addition, Wisconsin's Pathways to Independence was the nation's first program to allow the disabled to enter the workforce without the fear of losing health benefits.

Secretary Thompson is former chairman of the National Governors’ Association, the Education Commission of the States and the Midwestern Governors’ Conference. He has received numerous awards for his public service, including Governing Magazine’s Public Official of the Year Award and the Horatio Alger Award.

               

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