INDIANAPOLIS—Eli Lilly & Company has appointed Alex Azar as senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications, reporting directly to chairman and chief executive officer Sidney Taurel. Until February of this year, Azar was the United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, where he worked closely with Secretary Mike Leavitt and served for almost two years as the chief operating officer of the largest civilian department in the federal government.
Azar will be a member of the company’s policy and strategy committee, the corporate operations committee, and the senior management council. He will lead company teams that are responsible for international, federal, and state government affairs, public policy planning and development, external and internal communications, corporate branding, and community and public relations.
At HHS, Azar supervised all operations, including the regulation of food and drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, medical research, public health, welfare, child and family services, disease prevention, Indian health, mental health services, emergency preparedness and response, and many other activities. Agencies under his direction included, among others, the Food & Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prior to his tenure as deputy secretary, Azar served for four years as the general counsel of the HHS. Before entering the government, he was a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Wiley Rein & Fielding. He also clerked at the Supreme Court of the United States for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
According to Taurel, “He brings a combination of distinguished government service and private practice, and he has a track record of strong leadership. Alex has been a leading advocate for the role that pharmaceuticals play in preventing, treating and curing disease, and he will be a great addition to the company.”