Alison Beam, a Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law alumna was nominated on Jan. 22 to serve as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Department of Health.
Beam, who graduated from Drexel in 2013, previously served as PA Governor Tom Wolf’s Deputy Chief of Staff. Her appointment to the role comes after the departure of Dr. Rachel Levine, who was nominated by President Joe Biden as assistant health secretary.
In a statement from the Governor’s office, Beam is described as being a “talented public servant.” Prior to working for the Governor, she served as the Chief of Staff to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner and Director of Public Policy and Associate Counsel for Independence Health Group in Philadelphia.
Beam is being nominated for this role in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Case numbers in the U.S. are slowly on the decline, yet there are still many challenges facing the country, one of those being vaccine rollouts. “Alison knows that a strong, widely available, and successful vaccination strategy is the path out of the pains of this pandemic,” the statement reads. “Her foremost and immediate focus will be on strategic distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
The Governor’s office is not the only group praising Beam for her work and commitment to public health; Beam’s former law school professors have been reflecting on their experiences working with her. “Alison was one of the most energetic and engaged health law students I have taught at the law school,” Professor Robert I. Field said.
In a statement released by Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Beam acknowledged the role Drexel played in both her education and professional career. The school helped prepare her through what she describes as a “broad, yet deep, health law curriculum.” She also recognizes the role her instructors played in her educational experience.
Although she is awaiting confirmation, Beam has appeared in multiple interviews as well as press briefings on the pandemic alongside Governor Wolf — both recognizing the gravity of the situation Pennsylvania and the rest of the country is facing.
“This position is an opportunity to serve Pennsylvanians at a time of unprecedented crisis. Which also creates a path to reconstruct a better society than that which existed prior to the pandemic,” Beam said.