Palm, who assumed her current position in May, has been with HHS since Obama took office. Most recently, she was counselor for science and public health to Kathleen Sebelius, advising the secretary on issues relating to the department's 11 divisions. Palm, 40, will continue coordinating these as the chief of staff. "Andrea's work has focused on a range of issues central to our mission at HHS, and I look forward to working closely with her in this new capacity," Sebelius said in a memo to HHS employees announcing Palm's appointment. Palm succeeded Sally Howard, who is now deputy commissioner for policy at the Food and Drug Administration. During the Obama administration, Palm has also served as HHS acting assistant secretary for legislation and spent a year with the White House Domestic Policy Council as a senior adviser for health. Before that, she was the senior health policy adviser for then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and legislative director for the late Rep. Robert Matsui, D-Calif. With Matsui, Palm worked on health care and Social Security issues during the lawmaker's time on the Ways and Means Committee. Originally from upstate New York, Palm graduated from Cornell University before earning her master's degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.