Tommy G. Thompson
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services
As secretary of health and human services, Tommy G. Thompson was the nation's leading advocate for the health and welfare of all Americans. He was the 19th individual to serve as secretary of the department. In this role, Thompson launched major initiatives to urge all Americans to prevent disease by focusing on critical health areas such as obesity, diabetes, and health disparities.
Thompson served as governor of Wisconsin, making state history when he was re-elected to office for a third term in 1994 and a fourth term in 1998. During his 14 years as governor, Thompson focused on revitalizing Wisconsin's economy. He also gained national attention for his leadership on welfare reform, expanded access to healthcare for low-income people, and education.
Thompson began his career in public service in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin's Assembly. He was elected assistant Assembly minority leader in 1973 and Assembly minority leader in 1981. Thompson has received numerous awards for his public service, including the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award. In 1997, Thompson received Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award in 1998. Thompson has also served as chairman of the National Governors' Association, the Education Commission of the States, and the Midwestern Governors' Conference.
Thompson earned a BS in 1963 and a JD in 1966 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.