President Biden intends to nominate Dawn O'Connell, a senior counselor at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS. In her current capacity, O'Connell helps the HHS secretary coordinate departmentwide response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House announced Friday.
She first joined the department in early 2011 as deputy chief of staff and assumed the position of senior counselor to then-Secretary Secretary Burwell in June 2016 on global health and humanitarian matters under the Obama administration.
In June 2017, O'Connell became director of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation's U.S. office and she also led its joint coordination group composed of institutional partners that were interested in epidemic vaccine development and deployment programs.
She served as the health cluster lead for the Biden transition team before returning to HHS in Jan. 2021.