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OGC Key Personnel Archive - 1989-1992

Former General Counsel Michael J. Astrue

HHS General Counsel, 1989-1992

Harvard Law School, 1983
Yale University, 1978

Nominated by President George H. W. Bush
Served Under Secretary Louis W. Sullivan

Michael Astrue was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to be General Counsel of the Department of Health and Human Services in 1989. Astrue, at 32, became the youngest General Counsel in the Bush Administration's cabinet departments.

Prior to serving as HHS General Counsel, Astrue served as Associate Counsel to both President Ronald Reagan and President George Bush. In addition, Mr. Astrue served in the Department of Health and Human Services as Counselor to the Commissioner of Social Security, Legal Counsel to the Deputy Commissioner for Programs of the Social Security Administration; and acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislation. He was an associate with the law firm of Ropes and Gray in Boston and a law clerk to the Honorable Walter J. Skineer, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts.

After his tenure as General Counsel at DHHS, Astrue became Vice President and General Counsel for Biogen, Inc., one of the world's largest biotechnology companies, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Astrue represented the company in a number of cases. Most notably, he successfully challenged the orphan drug status held by Biogen's competitor Berlex Laboratories Inc. on a drug for multiple sclerosis, which has become Biogen's largest product called Avonex.

Currently, Mr. Astrue is General Counsel of Cambridge-based Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. Astrue is also chairman of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and teaches biotechnology law and trial practice at Boston University School of Law.

Presented for archival purposes. Current as of November 25, 2002


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