Oct. 11 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump has appointed Eric Hargan as acting Health and Human Services secretary to replace Tom Price, who resigned last month amid criticism involving his use of private charter aircraft.
Since Price stepped down on Sept. 29, longtime HHS staff member and acting assistant secretary Don Wright had been serving as the agency's acting chief.
Last week, the Senate confirmed Hargan, 49, as deputy secretary by a 57-38 vote. Trump appointed him Tuesday.
Hargan was a member of Trump's transition team for the department, according to a White House statement on Trump's intent to nominate him as deputy secretary in March.
Hargan worked at HHS between 2003 and 2007, including a stint as acting deputy secretary, before practicing law in Chicago. He has a law degree from Columbia University and earned a degree in philosophy from Harvard University.
"Eric Hargan brings a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership experience to HHS," Wright said in a statement. "His commitment to public service and vast experience in the healthcare field will help guide the department as we advance President Trump's agenda on behalf of the American people. We look forward to working with Deputy Secretary Hargan to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans."