WV Public Broadcasting Staff
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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
Thu May 1, 2014
Sylvia Mathews Burwell – HHS Secretary
Meet Hinton-native Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in Washington. Previously she was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Burwell is the past President of Global Development at the Bill & Linda Gates Foundation in Seattle, the world's largest charitable organization. At the Foundation Mathews Burwell was responsible for giving away $750 billion a year to help some of the world's poorest people have access to better agricultural techniques, financial services and clean water and sanitation.
Today she runs a government department with 70,000 people and a budget in excess of a trillion dollars. Yet she remains in regular touch with her childhood friends, and is proud of her West Virginia roots. "It is an incredible thing to be from our state", Burwell says. "I am so proud of being from a place where I think so many important values of hard work, respect, sense of community are instilled."