Miller Center

Tommy G. Thompson (2001–2005) - Secretary of Health and Human Services

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Tommy G. Thompson was born in 1941 in Elroy, Wisconsin. He earned a B.S. in 1963 and a J.D. in 1966, both from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. From 1966 to 1987, Thompson practiced law and served on the Wisconsin state assembly before being elected governor of Wisconsin, a post he held from 1987 to 2001.

During his unprecedented fourteen years as governor, Thompson gained a national reputation for his leadership on welfare reform; Wisconsin’s welfare-to-work legislation ultimately served as a model for national welfare reform.

President George W. Bush tapped Republican Tommy G. Thompson to serve as his secretary for health and human services in 2001.

Thompson announced his resignation after the 2004 election. Bush nominated the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Mike Leavitt, to replace Thompson.

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Gary L. Gregg II 

Professor Gregg is the director of the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. He also holds the Mitch McConnell Chair in leadership. His writings include: 

Considering the Bush Presidency. (with Mark J. Rozell, Oxford University Press, 2004)

Thinking about the Presidency: Documents and Essays from the Founding to the Present. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

Securing Democracy: Why We Have an Electoral College (2nd ed.). (ISI Books, 2008)

America's Forgotten Founders (2nd ed.). (with Mark D. Hall, ISI Books, 2012)

The consulting editor wishes to thank Connor Tracy and Travis Wilson for serving as research assistants on this project.