Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced the appointment of Congresswoman Donna Shalala to serve on the Congressional Oversight Commission, a key oversight body of the historic $2 trillion CARES Act.
“Congresswoman Donna Shalala is a deeply respected and highly accomplished leader in the Congress and country, who has for decades led the fight to defend the health and economic security of the American people at the highest levels of government,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Her leadership as Secretary of Health and Human Services will serve the American people extremely well, as she works to ensure that this historic coronavirus relief package is being used wisely and efficiently to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people, and not be exploited by profiteers and price-gougers. Congressional Democrats transformed the CARES Act from a trickle-down corporate focus to a workers-first bill, and we must ensure that taxpayer dollars given to industry go to workers’ paychecks and benefits, not be used for CEO bonuses, stock buybacks or dividends.”
Background on Congresswoman Donna Shalala
Congresswoman Donna Shalala represents Florida’s 27th District, which includes the city of Miami and surrounding municipalities in Miami-Dade County. She has dedicated her life to public service and is the longest-serving Secretary of Health and Human Services in U.S. history.
In 1993, Congresswoman Shalala was nominated by President Bill Clinton to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she created, implemented and oversaw the Children’s Health Insurance Program, currently covering over 7.6 million children. In that position, she also succeeded in doubling the budget of the National Institute of Health and secured the highest immunization rates in American history. At the end of her eight-year tenure at HHS, a Washington Post article described her as “one of the most successful government managers of modern times.”
In 2007, President George W. Bush hand-picked her to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, tasked with evaluating how wounded service members transition from active duty to civilian life. In 2008, President Bush selected her as the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Congresswoman Shalala has received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights (2010), was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame (2011) and has more than five dozen honorary degrees.
She received her A.B. from Western College for Women and her Ph.D. from Syracuse University. A distinguished scholar and academic administrator, she served as President of Hunter College of the City University of New York, Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and President of the University of Miami. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been elected to seven national academies, including the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education.