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Rachel Levine America’s First Trans 4 Star Officer

Dr. Rachel Levine

Dr. achel Levine — Courtesy of Biden transition team

Dr. Rachel Levine, America’s Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, has become the first Trans person to achieve four star status in a uniformed branch of America’s eight uniformed services. Levine was officially sworn in as an Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps earlier this week.

“May this appointment today be the first of many more to come, as we create a diverse and more inclusive future,” she said in a speech.

“[Becoming a four-star officer] is very meaningful to me. I am so impressed by the dedication, the commitment and the expertise of the officers and the United States Public Health Service Commission Corps. And it is truly an honor to lead them and to serve with them,” Levine said in an interview with NPR.

She describes her appointment as part of the Biden administration’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity.

“I think this is symbolic of that commitment and for transgender youth and other transgender individuals that there are no glass ceilings and no limitation to what we can achieve,” Levine said.

A native of Wakefield, Massachusetts, she has a B.A. from Harvard and a medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. Dr. Levine is divorced with two children. She transitioned in 2011.


Dr. Levine most recently served as Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and lead the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Levine was confirmed three times by the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania state senate to serve as Secretary of Health and the state’s physician general.

She is also Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine and the President of ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and the Academy for Eating Disorders.

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