America's two new health czars appear ready to push for ambitious healthcare reforms. President Barack Obama in March appointed former Clinton administrator Nancy-Ann DeParle director of the White House Office of Health Reform and nominated Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Sebelius had yet to be confirmed as Nature Biotechnology went to press). DeParle's role is to communicate to lawmakers the White House's approaches to healthcare reform and to negotiate compromises with stakeholders such as insurance providers and drug companies. “Her job is figuring out tradeoffs that all the stakeholders can live with,” says Linda Blumberg, a health policy researcher at the Urban Institute in Washington DC. She says DeParle's diverse experience with industry, government and academia may help in those negotiations. DeParle served on the board of device maker Boston Scientific of Natick, Massachusetts, and oversaw Medicare and Medicaid during the Clinton administration. As HHS secretary, Sebelius will be responsible for the US Food and Drug Administration, Medicare and Medicaid and the National Institutes of Health. Sebelius has said health reform will become her “mission” and aims to transform Medicare and Medicaid to focus on prevention. But policy experts say she may lack the close ties with lawmakers to lead reform negotiations. As governor of Kansas, she pushed to allow her state's residents to import drugs from abroad—a hint of one policy she may support in her new role.