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Howard Zucker

Former New York State Commissioner of Health

Howard Alan Zucker served as New York State Commissioner of Health from 2014-2021. As the state’s chief physician, he led the response to the Covid-19 pandemic and brought New York through many crises including Ebola, Zika, Legionella, a measles outbreak, opioid crisis, e-cigarettes, water safety and quality, medical marijuana, cancer prevention programs, fracking decision, End the AIDS epidemic initiative, Medicaid reform, hospital restructuring in Brooklyn, issues relating to the aging population and creation of a caregiver guide, to name a few.

Dr. Zucker trained in pediatrics (Johns Hopkins), anesthesiology (University of Pennsylvania), pediatric critical care/pediatric anesthesiology (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and pediatric cardiology (Boston Children’s Hospital) and is board-certified in 6 specialties. He was a pediatric anesthesiologist at Montefiore, ran the pediatric ICU at New York Presbyterian Hospital and has held appointments at Yale, Columbia and Einstein medical schools, Georgetown law and at NIH. He served as a White House Fellow, HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, Institute of Politics fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and Presidential Leadership Scholar.

He holds a BS (McGill), MD (George Washington University), JD (Fordham Law), LLM (Columbia Law) and a postgraduate diploma (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine). Dr. Zucker created a community peace index for use in international conflict regions, as part of the Massachusetts General Hospital global health team, created the nation’s Medical Reserve Corps, developed a talking book on health for Afghan women, worked on the federal responses to anthrax and SARS and wrote a report on the federal initiative on regenerative medicine. At WHO, he tackled the issue of counterfeit medicines, access to essential medicine and intellectual property rights in public health. In addition, he worked at MIT, designed Space Shuttle experiments, was on the board that runs the International Space Station national lab and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar.