Prof. Howard Koh nominated assistant secretary for health in HHS


For immediate release: Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Boston, MA —  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.

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.

Dr. Koh graduated from Yale College, Yale University School of Medicine and completed his postgraduate training and chief residencies at Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He has earned board certification in internal medicine, hematology, medical oncology, and dermatology, as well as a Master of Public Health degree. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and Chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. Dr. Koh has published over 200 articles in the medical and public health literature. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Distinguished Service Award from the American Cancer Society. President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Koh to the National Cancer Advisory Board (2000-2002).

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).