NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, is among the top contenders to lead the incoming Biden administration's U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to new reporting from POLITICO.
The New York native has experience in medicine, advocacy, and government, and also became a household name in North Carolina for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic. A man in Burlington even wrote her a tribute song.
Cohen is "in the mix" for the top health position in President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet, along with former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, POLITICO reports.
Cohen is a registered Democrat, according to public records, and shared a masked selfie at a polling place in mid-October.
The POLITICO article's projections are "based on dozens of conversations with Biden aides, his close allies, lobbyists and Hill staff." Biden has not yet announced his Cabinet nominations, but Cohen is among the potential candidates that the president-elect's transition team is expected to present to him in the coming days.
WFMY News 2 reached out to Cohen and NCDHHS for comment, we are still waiting to hear back as of publication time.
Who is Dr. Mandy Cohen of North Carolina?
Cohen, an internal medicine doctor by training and a registered Democrat, became a familiar face in North Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic, appearing alongside Gov. Roy Cooper in the dozens of coronavirus briefings since early March 2020.
Her administration has also faced the challenges of GenX in public drinking water, the opioid epidemic and the divide in NC over Medicaid expansion.
WFMY's Maddie Gardner interviewed Cohen 1-on-1 in early May about her work on North Carolina's Coronavirus Task Force.
While she lives in Raleigh, Cohen grew up on Long Island in Hempstead, New York and was inspired by her mother, an ER nurse practitioner, to pursue a career in medicine.
Cohen's credentials include a medical degree, master of public health degree, and residency training in internal medicine from universities in Connecticut and Massachusetts, according to her NCDHHS profile.
After completing residency training, Cohen went on to serve at the VA as Deputy Director of Comprehensive Women's Health Services, while volunteering as a physician at the Washington D.C. VA Hospital, according to her resume from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gilling School of Global Public Health, where she is an adjunct professor.
Cohen worked as executive director for Doctors for America from 2009-2010, then went on to spend several years during the Obama administration rising in the ranks to become COO and Chief of Staff of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which includes Medicare, Medicaid and Marketplace portfolios.
Cohen has since worked as NCDHHS Secretary, the top leadership position, since Cooper appointed her in January 2017.