Board of Directors

Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH

Dr. Umair Shah is the Secretary of Health for Washington State. He was appointed to this position by Washington Governor Jay Inslee in December 2020.

From 2013 to 2020, Dr. Shah was the Executive Director and Local Health Authority for Harris County Public Health (HCPH) – a $100 million agency comprised of 700 public health professionals serving the nation’s third largest county with 4.7 million people.

Dr. Shah has enjoyed a distinguished career as an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center. His career in public health began as Chief Medical Officer of Galveston County Health District before joining HCPH to oversee its clinical health system and infectious disease portfolio. Under his leadership, HCPH has won numerous awards including recognition as Local Health Department of the Year by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in 2016 for its work in innovation, engagement, and health equity.

Dr. Shah is the current president of NACCHO representing the nearly 3,000 local health departments across the U.S. and recently served as president of its Texas affiliate. He remains active in clinical and academic activities through various Texas Medical Center institutions. He has responded to numerous large-scale emergencies such as Tropical Storm Allison; Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike; novel H1N1 influenza; the devastating earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti; and responses to Ebola and Zika, respectively. Dr. Shah served as medical branch co-director for the 27,000 Katrina evacuees sheltered at the Houston Astrodome in 2005 and led Harris County’s public health efforts in response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

In addition to his service on the TFAH board, Dr. Shah sits on numerous additional national boards and advisory groups including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Network for Public Health Law, Texas Department of State Health Services, and Texas Medical Association. Dr. Shah earned his BA in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and MD from the University of Toledo Health Science Center. He completed Internal Medicine residency, General Medicine/Primary Care fellowship, and an MPH in Management & Policy Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center. During his training, he also completed an international health policy internship at World Health Organization headquarters in Switzerland.