Alex Azar II, a former Wiley Rein partner who served four years as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the leading candidate to head the department, according to several reports.
Besides the Indianapolis Star, the Washington Post and POLITICO reported Tuesday that Azar is President Donald Trump’s top choice to head HHS.
Azar served as GC and then deputy secretary of the department from 2001-2007, during the George W. Bush administration. He then took various roles at the giant drug company Eli Lilly and Co. at its U.S. headquarters in Indianapolis, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Most recently, he served for five years as president of Eli Lilly’s U.S. operations until a management shake-up there in January. He then founded a pharmaceutical consulting firm in Indianapolis called Seraphim Strategies.
In the early 1990s, Azar, a graduate of Yale Law School, clerked for Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. He later served as assistant independent counsel on Kenneth Starr’s Whitewater investigation. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson praised Azar, with whom he worked, in the POLITICO article.