Dr Dave A Chokshi, a 39-year-old Indian-origin physician with expertise in public health, has been appointed as New York City's new health commissioner by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Dr Chokshi was named Commissioner of the City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene after serving health commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot resigned from her post.
The Mayor said at a news conference that Dr Chokshi has an "extraordinary history" and as a child of immigrants, grew up with tremendous potential, and worked hard every step of the way to realise that potential and fight for those left behind by the system.
"Never has that been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he has helped lead our City's public health system under unprecedented challenges. I know he's ready to lead the charge forward in our fight for a fairer and healthier city for all," Blasio added.
A Rhodes Scholar, Chokshi has served as a White House Fellow in the Obama Administration and was the principal health advisor to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
In 2016, President Barack Obama appointed him to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.
"I couldn't be prouder of our City's response in the face of a once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis," Dr Chokshi said, adding that he was honoured to serve the people of New York City. "Together, we will emerge from this pandemic as a stronger, fairer, and healthier city."
The Mayor's office said in a statement that Chokshi has served at the highest level of local, state, and federal health agencies, including NYC Health + Hospitals, where he was in senior leadership roles over the past six years.
As Chief Population Health Officer, Dr Chokshi's team transformed healthcare delivery for over one million New Yorkers.
Chokshi's father was the first in his family to immigrate to the United States, settling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he was born and raised.
He trained at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School.
During his training, Dr Chokshi did clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana, and India.