Donna Shalala was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 27th Congressional District in 2018. She has a long career in public service, including previously serving as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration.
Rep. Shalala is an advocate for women’s rights, civil rights, increased access to healthcare, better education and public schools, and a clean and sustainable environment. The longest-serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in U.S. history, she returns to Washington as the Representative for Florida’s 27th District, which includes the city of Miami and surrounding municipalities in Miami-Dade County.
The granddaughter of immigrants from Lebanon, Congresswoman Shalala was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She received her A.B. from Western College for Women and her Ph.D. from Syracuse University. A distinguished educator, she served as President of Hunter College of the City University of New York, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and President of the University of Miami. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been elected to seven national academies, including the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Education.
Congresswoman Shalala began her career in public service as one of the country’s first Peace Corps volunteers in Iran. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter tapped her to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 1993, Congresswoman Shalala was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she created, implemented, and oversaw the Children’s Health Insurance Program, currently covering over 7.6 million children. She also succeeded in doubling the budget of the National Institute of Health and secured the highest immunization rates in American history. At the end of her eight-year tenure at HHS, a Washington Postarticle described her as “one of the most successful government managers of modern times.”
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