October 06, 2005

Fire all the lawyers

I got this at Skippy's place, but I doubt if we share too many readers, so I'll post it too. We all remember Michael Brown, right? Lawyer, in charge of FEMA? Miserable failure in the aftermath of Katrina?

Meet your Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He's the guy who would probably be in charge if there were a flu pandemic.

Stewart Simonson was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on April 28, 2004.

Simonson serves as the Secretary's principal advisor on matters related to bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. He also coordinates interagency activities between HHS, other federal departments, agencies, offices and state and local officials responsible for emergency preparedness and the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies.

Most recently, Simonson served as Special Counsel to the Secretary and acted as the Secretary's liaison to the Homeland Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security. He also supervised policy development for Project BioShield and other countermeasure research and development programs.

From 2001-2003, he was the HHS Deputy General Counsel and provided legal advice and counsel to the Secretary on public health preparedness matters. Prior to joining HHS, Simonson served as corporate secretary and counsel for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK).

From 1995-1999, Simonson was Legal Counsel to Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson. In the Governor's Office, Simonson also directed policy development for crime and corrections and coordinated the state's public safety agencies.

Simonson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1986 and Juris Doctor degree in 1994. He is a member of the bar in Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Right. Just what we need. Another lawyer who's a buddy with a former Administration official (Tommy Thompson was the Secretary of HHS mentioned above). Counsel for AMTRAK is a little better than a fired horse show judging coordinator, but I fail to see how it provides the skills required to manage a public health disaster.

Jeebus H. Kryptonite.

Posted by Linkmeister at October 6, 2005 08:32 AM | TrackBack