Obama's health secretary to be first female president of American University

Obama's health secretary to be first female president of American University
© Getty

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will be the next president of American University in Washington, D.C. 

Burwell, who directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2014 until the end of President Obama's second term, will begin her new job on June 1, the university announced Thursday.

Burwell, who will become the university's first female president, was picked after a "very competitive" national search, the university said in a statement. 

ADVERTISEMENT
“My family and I are honored and excited to become a part of this vibrant AU community,” Burwell said.

“American University’s distinctive mix of academic strengths, its influential scholars, engaged students, successful alumni and extraordinary location are great assets.”

American University is a private research university that specializes in programs centered on international service, public policy and public affairs. 

Obama nominated Burwell to lead HHS in 2014 after the resignation of Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusOPINION | 5 big ideas to halt America's opioid epidemic Aligning clinical and community resources improves health Sebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' MORE

President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents A history lesson on the Confederacy for President Trump GOP senator: Trump hasn't 'changed much' since campaign MORE nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead HHS, but the Senate has not yet voted to confirm him.

Following Trump's election, Burwell became an ardent defender of ObamaCare as Trump and the Republican Congress vowed to repeal it.