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Greenberg Traurig partner nominated for HHS deputy post

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A Greenberg Traurig shareholder in the firm’s Chicago office who has been nominated by the Trump administration for deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services held various roles under the George W. Bush administration and has extensive experience in Big Law.

The White House announced Tuesday that Eric Hargan, who joined Greenberg Traurig nearly seven years ago, would serve as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, subject to approval by the U.S. Senate.

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According to his LinkedIn profile, Hargan was a partner in the corporate department of Winston & Strawn from 1997 to 2003, when he joined HHS. There, he served as deputy general counsel, principal associate deputy secretary and acting deputy secretary. Those roles included a position as HHS’s regulatory policy officer, overseeing the development and approval of all HHS, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulations and significant guidance.

After leaving the government in 2007, Hargan became a partner in the health law department at McDermott Will & Emery, where he remained until joining Greenberg’s health and FDA business development practice in June 2010.

In 2014, Hargan worked on the health care transition team for Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and later, on Trump’s transition team for HHS.

Shortly before the presidential election last year, Hargan favorably compared Trump to Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States.

“Trump has staked out positions that do not allow him to be pigeonholed ideologically — that makes him more akin to an Ike figure certainly,” he told The Washington Times last September.

Hargan has been widely quoted and published and is a prolific speaker on various health care topics. In early 2010, he presciently said in a National Law Journal article that the FDA would target counterfeit drugs. During his six months in 2007 as HHS’s acting deputy secretary, Hargan delivered eight speeches, on topics ranging from food safety to human trafficking to what is being done in the United States to prepare for a future flu pandemic.

“It is time for HHS programs to change in order to meet the needs of these suffering people. It is time — it is past time — for us to abolish slavery in the 21st century,” Hargan said in an April 2007 address in Washington, D.C., announcing the launch of the HHS Trafficking in Persons in-Reach Campaign.

Hargan holds degrees from Harvard University and Columbia Law School. He and his wife currently live in suburban Chicago with their two sons, according to the White House.


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