Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine has been tapped by President-Elect Joe Biden to be his own assistant secretary of health.
Governor Tom Wolf first appointed Levine to her current position in 2017. Four years later, she is set to become the first openly transgender person to be confirmed as a federal official by the US Senate.
Levine is a graduate from Harvard and Tulane Medical School. She is also president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Biden released a statement praising her as “a historic and deeply qualified choice.”
“Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic — no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability — and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond.”
The Associated Press broke the news early Tuesday morning. Governor Wolf issued his congratulations to Levine later the same morning.
“Dr. Levine is a highly skilled and valued member of my administration and she will be greatly missed. She has been a wise and dedicated partner during this pandemic and throughout her career with the commonwealth. I couldn’t be prouder of the tireless work she’s done to serve Pennsylvanians and protect the public health.”