Governor Jay Inslee this week named Umair Shah as Secretary of Health to replace the departing John Wiesman, who will be joining the faculty at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Wiesman has served as Secretary since 2013.
Shah has led the nationally accredited Harris County Public Health (HCPH) for the last seven years in Houston, managing 700 public health staff serving the 4.7 million residents in the nation’s third largest county. Before that, he was chief medical officer of Galveston County Health District and served as an emergency department physician at Houston’s DeBakey VA Hospital for more than 20 years. Shah, an immigrant from Pakistan, was raised in Ohio.
“Without question, the number one priority for me is to work with the team to continue the fight against COVID-19 and help Washingtonians through these challenging times,” Shah said.