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(profile) Veteran bureaucrat tapped as health minister

All News 15:32 December 04, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Yonhap) -- Kwon Deok-cheol, nominated by President Moon Jae-in on Friday to head the Ministry of Health and Welfare, is a longtime bureaucrat with expertise in social welfare and health care.

The 59-year-old, a graduate of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, started his career as a bureaucrat at the ministry in 1987 and has climbed the ranks with appointments to various key posts in the ministry.

This photo, provided by Cheong Wa Dae on Dec. 4, 2020, shows Kwon Deok-cheol, a minister nominee for health and welfare. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

It marks the first time in 19 years that a veteran within the ministry has been tapped as the chief of the government agency that has been usually taken by politicians and scholars.

Kwon played a crucial role during the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak here in 2015. He is expected to co-lead various health policy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Since stepping down from the vice minister post in 2019, he has headed the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) under the ministry.


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