Tobacco-Free Kids Head William Corr to HHS

[Note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version]

William Corr, executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids since 2000, will be nominated to serve as deputy secretary for presumptive Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Daschle, according to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition office. 

Corr, who was responsible for review and evaluation for the transition team at HHS, was the chief of staff for former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Corr also has close ties to Daschle, for whom he served as chief counsel and policy director from 1998 to 2000, when Daschle was Senate minority leader.

Corr has helped lead The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids for much of its history, most recently in tandem with President Matthew Myers.

Its mission is to “prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke,” according to its website. That has included grants to community anti-smoking groups, coordinated state campaigns and federal lobbying and advocacy.

“President-elect Obama has made an outstanding choice,” Myers said in a statement. “Bill Corr has dedicated his life to improving the health and health care of all Americans.”

The campaign is not discussing whether it will replace Corr, thus maintaining an executive-president tandem, or leave Myer as its sole leader.

“We have nothing to say right now, other than that Bill’s a great guy and we wish him well” said spokesman Joel Spivak.

Corr presents yet another challenge to Obama’s pledge to keep the lobbyist influence out of his administration. He lobbied to grant the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco products. Obama has supported legislation to that effect as a senator.

Corr is listed as a paid lobbyist by the campaign, which spent $2.4 million on lobbying expenses over the past five years. Transition officials told the Washington Post that Corr is acceptable because he has not lobbied since September.



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