Tobacco Foe Picked for HHS Deputy Director

William V. Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, has been nominated by Barack Obama to be deputy director of Health and Human Services, positioning the former anti-tobacco lobbyist as a key player in health reform led by Tom Daschle, Al Kamen's In the Loop column in The Washington Post, the Politico Web site, and blogs tracking the Obama transition to power reported today. The nomination requires U.S. Senate confirmation. Corr has worked for Campaign since March 2000, but he spent 23 years working in Congress and HHS before that.

Corr was chief counsel and policy director for Daschle when the latter was U.S. Senate minority leader in 1998-2000 and previously was chief of staff for the HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and deputy assistant secretary for Health and counselor to the Secretary, according to his Campaign biography. From 1989 until 1993, was chief counsel and staff director for the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Monopolies and Business Rights of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary under Chairman Howard M. Metzenbaum, and he assisted Metzenbaum with the latter's work on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. He also worked for U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif. who is the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and will be a major player in Obama's health care reform. Corr had directed four community-run primary health care centers in Tennessee and Kentucky from 1974-1977.

Giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco is a top priority for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Waxman sponsored one of the two unsuccessful bills in the last Congress to accomplish that goal.

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