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Global Perspectives with Mike Leavitt

Dallas Fed

Leavitt Partners founder, former Utah governor and Bush-era cabinet member Mike Leavitt shares his thoughts on reforming health care, the new models of education and how technology is disrupting higher education.

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About Mike Leavitt

Leavitt is founder of health care intelligence firm Leavitt Partners. Formerly governor of Utah, he also served in the cabinet of President George W. Bush as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In 1984, Leavitt became chief executive of The Leavitt Group, a family business that is now the nation’s second-largest privately held insurance brokerage. He was elected governor of Utah in 1993, serving three terms through 2003 before joining the Bush cabinet. At Health and Human Services, he administered a $750 billion budget—nearly 25 percent of the federal budget—and 67,000 employees. He also led the implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. In 2006, President Bush assigned him to lead the redesign of the nation’s system of quality and safety standards for imported goods.

When Leavitt was elected Utah governor, he instigated a successful design-build system to improve the state’s major freeway system. He also organized a group of colleagues to form Western Governors University. His colleague governors elected him chairman of the National Governors Association, the Republican Governors Association and Western Governors’ Association.

Leavitt led U.S. delegations to more than 50 countries, conducting negotiations on matters related to health, the environment and trade. The Chinese government awarded him the China Public Health Award—the first time this award has been given to a foreign government official. His book Finding Allies, Building Alliances (Jossey–Bass, 2013) chronicles his expertise in collaboration.

Leavitt received his bachelor’s degree in business from Southern Utah University.

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