Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kathleen Sebelius is the new US Secretary of HHS

The US Senate has confirmed Kathleen Sebelius as the new US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Comment.  Here's a bit of what I said when President Obama nominated her in February

What's the OA connection?  As far as I can tell, Sebelius has no public track record for or against OA to research, although she does have a good record on open government and OA to PSI.  The important OA connection is that HHS is the home of the NIH.  We haven't had an NIH Director since Elias Zerhouni stepped down last October, and we haven't had a Secretary of HHS since the regime change in January 2009....We have a leadership vacuum at NIH and HHS, and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is taking advantage of it by pushing early and hard for his Fair Copyright in Research Works Act (a.k.a. the Conyers bill, HR 801)....[I]n practice the HHS position must be filled before the NIH position....[T]here's no doubt that the Daschle fiasco [which delayed the Sebelius nomination] gave the publishers a month-long advantage in this session of Congress.  That advantage [is coming to an end].