The top officials at the United States Department of Health and Human Services always play a critical role. Likely even more so in the current climate, as the government is tasked with navigating through the global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.

Since winning the 2020 United States Presidential election, Joe Biden has made many healthcare-related appointments. Perhaps one of the most important roles is deputy health and human services secretary, if not most high-profile.

Biden selects Andrea Palm for the position

Andrea Palm is Joe Biden's choice for U.S.

deputy health and human services secretary. Palm would have to undergo the confirmation process from the U.S. Senate to officially take the job, a process that has gotten increasingly vicious in recent years. As noted by the Wisconsin State Journal, she would become the second-highest-ranking health official in the United States.

Palm is currently the top health official in Wisconsin, chosen by Governor Tony Evers. She's been running the Wisconsin Department of Health Services since 2019. Previously, she had served in several roles during the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama. Mostly in the Health and Human Services Department and as an advisor with the Domestic Policy Council. Palm's husband, Dan Utech, was also an official in the Obama administration.

With the White House, the Department of Energy, and also as a Domestic Policy Council advisor. He also worked with the U.S. Senate.

Before joining the Obama administration, Palm worked as a Congressional staffer. First, with California U.S. Representative Bob Matsui. And later, with New York U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton. Clinton would famously also become Obama's first U.S.

secretary of state.

Karen Timberlake is expected to succeed Palm as the secretary-designee in charge of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Timberlake was formerly the DHS secretary under Governor Jim Doyle.

According to WMTV, Palm already has the support of at least one of Wisconsin's U.S. senators, Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

Baldwin also sits on the Senate committee that is to oversee Palm's nomination.

Biden earlier announced that California Attorney General Becerra was his choice for the top spot at HHS. Becerra is a former member of the United States House of Representatives and the California State Assembly.

Other Wisconsin officials have been appointed to HHS

Wisconsinites have done well with HHS. Including two successive health and human services secretaries. The first was Democrat Donna Shalala, who was the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It followed her being a Housing and Urban Development Department official and Hunter College in New York. When she being HHS secretary behind, her former job as chancellor was already held by John D.

Wiley. Shalala would be hired as president of the University of Miami. She later spent time as the U.S. representative from Florida's 27th District.

Republican Tommy Thompson came next. Thompson was governor of Wisconsin and minority leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly. He'd also served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a captain. Following his HHS tenure, Thompson made a run at one of Wisconsin's U.S. Senate seats, losing to Tammy Baldwin.