Co-Chair, Prevention Initiative; Former Governor of Utah and Secretary of HHS
Mike Leavitt co-chairs BPC’s Prevention Initiative. A former three-term governor of Utah, he served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Leavitt is the founder and chairman of Leavitt Partners where he advises clients in the health care and food safety sectors.
Leavitt earned a bachelor’s degree in business while working in the insurance industry. In 1984, he became chief executive of The Leavitt Group, a family business that is now the nation’s second largest, privately-held insurance brokerage. In 1993, Leavitt was elected governor of Utah. He served three terms (1993-2003). In 2003, he joined the cabinet of President Bush, serving in two positions: first as leader of the EPA (2003-2005) and then as secretary of HHS (2005-2009). At HHS, Leavitt administered a $750 billion budget—nearly 25 percent of the entire federal budget—and 67,000 employees.
As governor, he organized a group of his colleagues to form Western Governors University (WGU). At WGU, degrees are earned based on competency rather than credit hours. WGU now has more than 20,000 students who reside in each of the 50 states and several foreign countries.
Leavitt is a seasoned diplomat, leading U.S. delegations to more than 50 countries. He has conducted negotiations on matters related to health, the environment, and trade. At the conclusion of his service, the Chinese government awarded him the China Public Health Award—the first time this award has ever been given to a government official.