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Kathleen Sebelius

State Governor

Born: 15 May 1948
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio
Best known as: Barack Obama's 2009 choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services

Name at birth: Kathleen Gilligan

Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius was chosen by Barack Obama in 2009 to become head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has been governor of Kansas since 2003. Sebelius comes from a political family: her father, John Gilligan, was the governor of Ohio from 1971-1975. She grew up in Cincinnati and attended Trinity College in Washington, D.C., where she got a bachelor's degree in 1970. She married K. Gary Sebelius in 1974 and moved to his native Kansas, where she earned a master's in public administration from the University of Kansas (1978). After several years as director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, she served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1987-94. Sebelius was the state's insurance commissioner from 1995-2003 before her election as governor in 2002. A Democrat, she was reelected to a second four-year term in 2006. She must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before she takes office as Secretary of HHS.

Extra credit: Sebelius was nominated to run HHS by Obama after his first nominee, Tom Daschle, withdrew his name after tax problems were made public... Sebelius is the 44th governor of Kansas.... She and her father are the first father-and-daughter combination ever to be state governors... Her husband, K. Gary Sebelius, in 1974. They have two sons: Ned (born circa 1982) and John (born circa 1985).

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