Harris County Public Health
In 2013, Dr. Umair A. Shah was appointed Executive Director and Local Health Authority
for Harris County Public Health (HCPH) – the nationally recognized and accredited $100
million agency comprised of 700 public health professionals serving the nation’s third
largest county with 4.7 million people.
Dr. Shah earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University and M.D. 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 (WHO)
headquarters in Switzerland.
Dr. Shah has enjoyed a distinguished career as an emergency department physician at Houston’s well-respected
Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center. His journey 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.
Sought for his practical insights, Dr. Shah has presented in both the Texas Legislature and on Capitol Hill and sits
on numerous national boards and advisory groups including with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,
and Medicine (NASEM), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Network for Public
Health Law, Trust for America’s Health, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Texas
Department of State Health Services, and Texas Medical Association. He previously served as president of
NACCHO (and its Texas affiliate) representing the nearly 3,000 local health departments across the U.S. He remains
active in clinical and academic activities through various Texas Medical Center institutions.
In addition to clinical activities, Dr. Shah has participated in various leadership trainings including with the National
Public Health Leadership Institute, the American Leadership Forum, and the Kresge Foundation’s Emerging
Leaders in Public Health Program. 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 recently led Harris County’s public health efforts in
response to Hurricane Harvey in 2017-2018.
Tuesday, July 9
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Thursday, July 11
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM