Kathleen Sebelius (pronounced /sɨˈbiːliəs/; née Gilligan, born May 15, 1948) is an American politician currently serving as the 21st Secretary of Health and Human Services. She was the second female Governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, the Democratic respondent to the 2008 State of the Union address, and chair-emerita of the Democratic Governors Association.
Sebelius was born Kathleen Gilligan and reared in Roman Catholic family in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended the Summit Country Day School in Cincinnati and graduated from Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. with a B.A. in political science. She later earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Kansas. She moved to Kansas in 1974, where she served for eight years as a representative in the Kansas Legislature and eight years as Insurance Commissioner before being elected governor.
Sebelius is the daughter of former Democratic Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan, and thus they became the first father/daughter governor pair in the United States after her election. Following passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, she pointed out another father-daughter connection: her father had been in the House of Representatives when Medicare was originally passed in 1965.