Editor’s Note: This story was updated Monday.
President Donald Trump nominated Alex Azar as HHS Secretary Monday morning, tweeting that he “will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”
Azar left Eli Lilly & Co. as an executive running its U.S. operations in January. Before that, he was a deputy secretary under HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, who was a George W. Bush appointee.
Following law school at Yale University, Azar was a Supreme Court clerk for Antonin Scalia.
He followed that by working as an Associate Independent Counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr, who he has described as his mentor.
Azar has been critical of the Affordable Care Act and was one of many pharmaceutical executives who donated to the Trump campaign, Politico reported.
Since former Secretary Tom Price’s resignation in September, agency insiders Don Wright and Eric Hargan have been acting HHS heads. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, once considered a favorite by some, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb are no longer under consideration for the position, according to Politico.