Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
School of Public Health, May 16, 2005
Tommy G. Thompson served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for four years. During his tenure as Secretary, he launched a number of significant initiatives including strengthening the nation's preparedness for a bioterrorism attack, substantially increased funding for the National Institutes of Health, reorganized the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, cleared the backlog of waivers and state plan amendments, and, urged all Americans to focus on critical health areas such as obesity, diabetes and health disparities. Prior to his appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services, he served as the Governor of Wisconsin for 14 years. His public service career began in 1966 as a representative in Wisconsin's state Assembly. In 1973 he was elected assistant Assembly minority leader and in 1981, elected Assembly minority leader. He has received the Anti-Defamation League's Distinguished Public Service Award, the Governing Magazine's Public Official of the Year Award, and the Horatio Alger Award. He has also served as chairman of the National Governor's Association, The Midwestern Governor's Conference, and the Education Commission of the States.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.