Biden-Harris transition team announces agency review team members
The Biden-Harris transition team took a step forward in preparing for its transition to the White House by announcing the members of its agency review teams (ARTs) on Tuesday. The review teams are responsible for evaluating operations and leading the transition for each federal agency as they prepare for the Biden-Harris administration.
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) team, which will also review the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is made up of 30 individuals with a broad range of expertise in the health care sector.
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, managing director at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP, and Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, will serve as team leads. Both Brooks-LaSure and Gordon served in the Obama Administration.
Several of the members have previous experience at HHS including Anne Reid, who served as a counselor to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Meena Seshamani, MD, who served as director of the Office of Health Reform at HHS, and Ken Choe, who was deputy general counsel and counselor to the Office of Health Reform at HHS.
The list also includes several top public health experts including John Auerbach, who currently serves as president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, Tom Inglesby, MD, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and José Cordero, at the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia.
Other notable names on the agency review team include Eliot Fishman, Senior Director of Health Policy at Families USA, Lu Borio, VP at In-Q-Tel, and Jon Blum, VP at Health Management Associates, who was an Obama appointee to CMS.
In terms of initial work for the agency review teams, a press release announcing the new members states:
“The agency review teams will proceed by meeting with former agency officials and experts who closely follow federal agencies, and with officials from think tanks, labor groups, trade associations, and other NGOs. Further, many of the ART members have had long careers in the federal agencies they will now help prepare for the incoming Biden-Harris administration.”
Once election results are certified, the teams will work directly with federal agency staff to prepare for the transition.
As of now, General Services Administration (GSA) administrator Emily Murphy has not yet officially certified that Biden has won the election. This formal acknowledgement that Biden has won the election, called ascertainment, is required to free up funding for the transition team. A delay in this certification could impede the transition team’s ability to access certain information, work with agency staff, or set up government offices.
President Trump, who appointed Murphy, has not yet conceded the race and has falsely claimed voter fraud.
When asked about the Trump administration’s refusal to accept Biden’s win during a press conference on Tuesday, Biden replied:
“We’re already beginning the transition. We’re well underway,” said Biden. “I’m confident that the fact that they’re not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we’re able to do between now and January 20th.”