Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Xavier Becerra

Secretary of Health and Human Services 

Xavier Becerra was born in January 1958 in Sacramento, California. He studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain before earning an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford University. He received a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School. He began his legal career working for a legal aid group in Central Massachusetts. 

Becerra was an administrative assistant for a California state senator. He was deputy attorney general in the California Department of Justice for three years. He was elected to the California State Assembly where he served two years before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he held office for 19 years. He was appointed by the California governor to be the State Attorney General, succeeding Kamala Harris, who had been elected to the U.S. Senate. 

President Biden nominated Becerra to be the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was confirmed in a 50-49 vote of the Senate and assumed office in March 2021. 

He is married to Carolina Reyes and they have three daughters. Becerra is Catholic. 

In the News…

The United States Department of Health and Human Services announced it is revoking waivers from federal nondiscrimination law granted to faith-based foster care providers in Michigan, South Carolina, and Texas. The action is drawing criticism from Christian groups and support from progressives. 

In a statement, the department announced it would rescind those waivers granted to agencies that contract with the federal government. The waivers exempted those organizations from nondiscrimination requirements imposed on recipients of federal grants mandating that “no person otherwise eligible will be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the administration of HHS programs and services.” 

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra justified the reversal of the “inappropriate, overly broad waivers” as necessary to ensure that the department is “best prepared to protect every American’s right to be free of discrimination.” 

“Today’s action supports the bedrock American principle and a core mission of our Department – to ensure Americans have access to quality health and human services,” he said. “With the large number of discrimination claims before us, we owe it all who come forward to act, whether to review, investigate or take appropriate measures to protect their rights. At HHS, we treat any violation of civil rights or religious freedoms seriously.” 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Secretary Becerra? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Xavier Becerra, Secretary 
Department of Health and Human Services 
200 Independence Ave SW 
Washington, DC 20201 


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