Howard Alan Zucker, MD, JD
“The products of imagination and the power of collaboration between ingenious scientists, compassionate clinicians, inventors and polymaths will create the future of medicine and public health.”
Dr. Zucker most recently served as the New York State Commissioner of Health where he brought the state through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. His leadership tackled public health emergencies, including Ebola, Zika, measles, legionella, water quality/safety, maternal mortality, the opioid epidemic, e-cigarettes, health disparities, lead assessment in the NYC housing projects, and harmful algae blooms. He spearheaded the development of a medical marijuana program, banning fracking in NY, Ending the AIDS Epidemic initiative, a focus on the aging population and its caregivers and Medicaid reform.
His extensive experience in public service began as a White House Fellow and subsequently as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health. He conceived of, created, and ran the nation’s Medical Reserve Corps, developed a public health talking book for women in Afghanistan, was instrumental in the response to the anthrax outbreak, SARS and bird flu, and spearheaded a multidisciplinary team on the future of regenerative medicine.
Dr. Zucker served as the senior-most American at the World Health Organization in the capacity of Assistant Director-General for pharmaceuticals and technology where he was instrumental in assuring access to medicines and simple technologies for the developing world, combating counterfeit medications and addressing intellectual property rights and global public health. His career has included academic appointments Yale, Columbia Albert Einstein medical schools, at NIH and Georgetown law. He ran the Pediatric ICU at New York Presbyterian Hospital, advised in the global health division at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a research affiliate at MIT.
Dr. Zucker has served as an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and as a Presidential Leadership Scholar. Earlier in his career, he performed neurophysiology research that flew on the Space Shuttle and recently was on the board that ran the International Space Station’s national lab. Dr. Zucker has traveled on medical missions to China and Haiti. He has published and spoken nationally and internationally on a vast spectrum of public health and medical issues, including at TEDx, and delivered keynotes, honorary lectureships and graduation speeches.
He received his B.S. at McGill University, M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine, J.D. from Fordham Law School, LL.M. from Columbia Law School, and postgraduate diploma from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He trained in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, anesthesiology at The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, pediatric critical care medicine/pediatric anesthesiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He is board-certified in six specialties and a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.