2017 Commencement Speaker
Dr. Howard A. Zucker is the Commissioner of Health for New York State and oversees an agency that seeks to promote and protect the health of all New Yorkers. He is board-certified in pediatrics, anesthesiology, pediatric cardiology and pediatric critical care and trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Boston Children's Hospital.
Before coming to the state Department of Health, Dr. Zucker was a pediatric anesthesiologist at Montefiore in the Bronx. Dr. Zucker has also run the pediatric intensive care unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He has held academic appointments at Yale, Columbia, Cornell and Albert Einstein medical schools and served on the clinical faculty at the National Institutes of Health.
In addition, Dr. Zucker served as a White House fellow, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health at the U.S. Health and Human Services, as Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization and a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.
He holds a BS from McGill, an MD from George Washington University Medical School, a JD from Fordham Law, a Masters in Law from Columbia and a postgraduate diploma in global health policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Zucker led a team at Massachusetts General Hospital on the development of a community peace index for use in conflict regions across the globe. He created the nation's Medical Reserve Corps, which now has over 200,000 volunteers in 1000 programs. He developed a talking book to teach women in Afghanistan about health, which reached 7 million people, and worked to improve access to essential medicines for those in developing nations.
He has been listed in Best Doctors in America, featured as an ABC News 'Person of the Week' and worked at MIT, designing research experiments that were performed on the Space Shuttle. He is a passionate believer in the role of research in achieving cures to disease.
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