Obama appoints Howard Koh, M.D. as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services
[WITH THANKS TO ROBIN HERMAN, Harvard School of Public Health] This is Obama's appointment to oversee the Center for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Health, a major position; this is the guy to write to if you have ideas on FDA reform, in addition to Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner.
President Barack Obama announced today his intent to nominate Dr. Howard Koh, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), to be assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Koh is also Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Director of the Division of Public Health Practice at HSPH. The assistant secretary for health is responsible for the major health agencies, including the CDC, FDA and NIH, and is the leading health advisor to the Secretary of HHS. Dr. Koh has served as the Principal Investigator of multiple research grants related to community-based participatory research, cancer prevention, health disparities, tobacco control, and emergency preparedness. He is also Director of the HSPH Center for Public Health Preparedness.
Dr. Koh previously served as Commissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1997-2003) where he emphasized the power of prevention for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which included four public health hospitals and a staff of over 3,000 professionals.
In recognition of his contributions to early detection and prevention of melanoma, the Boston Red Sox designated Dr. Koh as a "Medical All-Star" (2003).