Deputy Director for Global Health

Staff Bio

Howard Zucker, MD, JD, is the Deputy Director for Global Health.

Deputy Director for Global Health Howard Zucker. An American flag is behind him.
Deputy Director for Global Health, Howard Zucker, MD, JD

Role at CDC

In this role, Dr. Zucker has broad operating authority and responsibility for overall planning, direction, and management of global strategy and programs across CDC.

Previous experience

Prior to this position, Dr. Zucker was a Visiting Research Professor at the School of Global Health, New York University. From 2014-2021, he served as Commissioner of Health for New York State where he oversaw the state response to many public health crises including Ebola, legionella, Zika, COVID-19, a measles outbreak, End the AIDS epidemic initiative, e-cigarette contamination, the opioid crisis, and water safety and quality issues.

Dr. Zucker's career also included serving as Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO). Serving as the highest-ranking American at WHO, he oversaw policy on a spectrum of global health issues with an overall budget of $200 million. In this role, he also chaired the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce, a coordinated network across and between countries with the objective of halting the production, trading, and selling of counterfeit medicines around the globe, and he oversaw the world's essential medicines list – the global model formulary comprised of all medications vital to health and used by more than 150 nations worldwide.

Dr. Zucker also served as a White House Fellow and as Health and Human Services' Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, where he worked on the federal SARS response plan and on the response to the anthrax crisis. He created and ran the nation's Medical Reserve Corps and spearheaded programs in several other areas, including development of a children's hospital in Iraq, maternal and child health in Afghanistan, and disease prevention with the Hungarian Minister of Health. Dr. Zucker has traveled on medical missions to China, as well as Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.


Dr. Zucker graduated from McGill University and holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from George Washington University School of Medicine, a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University Law School, and a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School.

He completed his training in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, pediatric critical care/pediatric anesthesiology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and pediatric cardiology at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is board certified in six specialties and completed a post-graduate diploma in Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Zucker was Director of the pediatric intensive care unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital and has had academic appointments at Yale, Columbia, and Einstein medical schools. He was an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and is a member of the Supreme Court Bar.