President Barack Obamaannounced today his intent to nominate Howard Koh, the Harvey V. FinebergProfessor of the Practice of Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH),to be assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services. From 1997 to 2003, Koh served asCommissioner of Public Health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1997 to 2003. In that post he emphasized the power of prevention for the MassachusettsDepartment of Public Health, which included four public health hospitals and astaff of over 3,000 professionals. A graduate of YaleCollege and Yale University School ofMedicine, Howard Koh completed his postgraduate training and chief residenciesat Boston City Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.He has earned board certification in internal medicine, hematology,medicaloncology, and dermatology, as well as a Master of Public Health degree.He isan elected member of the Instituteof Medicine and Chair ofthe Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s Coordinating OfficeforTerrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. Koh has publishedover 200articles in the medical and public health literature. He has receivednumerousawards and honors including the Distinguished Service Award from theAmericanCancer Society. President Bill Clinton appointed Howard Koh to theNational CancerAdvisory Board, and he served on the board from from 2000 through 2002.In recognition of his contributions to earlydetection and prevention of melanoma, the Boston Red Sox designated Koh a “Medical All-Star” (2003). Koh is also the school’s Associate Dean forPublic Health Practice and Director of the Division of Public Health Practice.The U. S. assistant secretary for health is responsible for the major healthagencies, including the CDC, FDA and NIH, and is the leading healthadvisor to the Secretary of HHS. Koh has served as the PrincipalInvestigator of multiple research grants related to community-basedparticipatory research, cancer prevention, health disparities, tobacco control,and emergency preparedness. He is also Director of the HSPH Centerfor Public Health Preparedness.