The Midwest Council is up and running, with former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and former U.S. Senator Ben Nelson serving as co-chairmen.

Former HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson

Tommy_ThompsonTommy G. Thompson currently is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Thompson Holdings, and former United States Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and four-term Governor of Wisconsin.

Following his term in public office, he built, and continues to build with his work at Thompson Holdings, on his efforts as HHS Secretary and Governor to develop innovative solutions to the health care challenges facing American families, businesses, communities, states and the nation as a whole. These efforts focus on improving the use of information technology in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices; promoting healthier lifestyles; strengthening and modernizing Medicare and Medicaid; and expanding the use of medical diplomacy around the world.

From 2005 until 2009, Governor Thompson served as a senior advisor at the consulting firm Deloitte LLP and was the founding independent chairman of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, which researches and develops solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing health care and public health related challenges.

From 2005 to early 2012, Governor Thompson served as a senior partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, & Feld LLP. Governor Thompson served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Logistics Health, Inc. from January 2011 to May 2011, and served as President from February 2005 to January 2011.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the following public companies: CareView Communications, Inc., as Chairman of the Board of Directors, Centene Corporation, C.R. Bard, Inc., United Therapeutics Corporation, Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. and TherapeuticsMD, Inc.

Senator E. Benjamin Nelson

Bill_NelsonSenator Ben Nelson became Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on January 18, 2013. He was selected based on his unique combination of executive, legislative and regulatory experience.

Prior to this appointment Senator Nelson served two-terms in the U.S. Senate representing the State of Nebraska from 2001-2013. During his tenure, he earned a reputation as a moderate who was adept at bringing his colleagues on both sides of the aisle together to find compromises on some of the biggest issues facing the country.

Serving on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Nelson’s priorities began with safeguarding our nation’s food and fuel security. He was also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he was a tireless champion for our nation’s men and women in uniform. In addition, he served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, being a careful steward of taxpayer money to ensure important investments were being made to grow the economy.

Earlier in his career, Senator Nelson was Governor of Nebraska. As governor, he pledged to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas to move forward as “One Nebraska” and to create a “more efficient and effective state government.” In 1994, he became the first Nebraska Governor to be elected to a second term in two decades.

Senator Nelson has extensive experience in the insurance sector and started his career in insurance law. He served as CEO of the Central National Insurance Group, as Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President of the NAIC, and as Director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance.

Senator Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in 1963, a master’s degree in 1965 and a law degree in 1970, all from the University of Nebraska.

Senator Nelson and his wife, former first lady Diane Nelson, have four children and five grandchildren.