Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, was appointed Secretary of Health for the State of Washington in December 2020. He is the first Asian-American physician of South Asian descent to serve in this leadership role in the history of Washington, home to over 7.6 million people. Prior to this, Dr. Shah served for seven years as the Executive Director and the Local Health Authority for Harris County Public Health (HCPH) in Texas. Dr. Shah was also Chief Medical Officer at the Galveston County Health District and an emergency department physician at Houston’s well-respected Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.
Dr. Shah earned his BA (philosophy) from Vanderbilt University; his MD from the University of Toledo Health Science Center; and completed an Internal Medicine Residency, Primary Care/General Medicine Fellowship, and MPH (management & policy sciences), at The University of Texas Health Science Center. During his fellowship training, his clinical concentration centered on patients with HIV/AIDS. He also completed an international health policy internship at World Health Organization headquarters in Switzerland.