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Dave A. Chokshi, M.D.

Physician, Sternberg Family Professor of Leadership at the City College of New York, 43rd Health Commissioner of New York City, White House Fellow

Dave Chokshi is a practicing physician and public health leader who served as the 43rd Health Commissioner of New York City. From 2020-2022, he led the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its historic campaign to vaccinate over 6 million New Yorkers. Previously, Dr. Chokshi was the inaugural Chief Population Health Officer at the largest public healthcare system in the nation. He has held successive senior leadership roles that span the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. A Rhodes Scholar and White House Fellow, he is nationally recognized as a transformational leader, a clinical innovator, a policy expert, and a fierce advocate for a stronger and more equitable health system.

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Dr. Chokshi led New York City’s response to COVID-19 while serving as health commissioner from 2020-22. He was an organizational leader, a public spokesperson, a governmental official, and a doctor and scientist. Previously, he was also involved in responses to Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. In this presentation, Dr. Chokshi distills out key leadership lessons in times of crisis, spanning management, communication, strategy, operations, and policy.

What trends should we be paying attention to the field of healthcare? What aspects of health technology are likely to have impact, and what are merely hype? Dr. Chokshi approaches these questions from the vantage point of a clinician, a health system executive, and a policymaker. He describes key aspects of successful innovation and how they mesh with the operational realities of healthcare.

Our public health infrastructure was tested beyond its breaking point during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, what does the future hold for public health? What is the role of government and how should the private sector contribute to public health? Dr. Chokshi examines these questions, using the pandemic as a portal, painting a vision for a healthy society rooted in science, equity, and compassion.

Our health is a function of where we are born and how we live, learn, work, play, and worship. Meanwhile, inequities in health are disparities that are avoidable and unfair. These two concepts, health equity and the social determinants of health, are fundamentally important to understand for those working to improve health. Dr. Chokshi’s career had been dedicated to addressing these important topics, and he weaves in personal examples and experiences to illuminate them in the pursuit of health.

Dr. Chokshi’s health policy experience spans the local, state, and federal levels. How does policy get made, from City Hall to the White House? In this presentation, Dr. Chokshi discusses what influences decisionmaking while addressing the outlook across a range of health policy issues, from access to quality to equity to value.


Dave A. Chokshi, MD, MSc is the inaugural Sternberg Family Professor of Leadership at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, part of the City College of New York.

Previously, Dr. Chokshi served as the 43rd Commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, one of the leading health agencies in the world. He led the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including its historic campaign to vaccinate over 6 million New Yorkers, saving tens of thousands of lives. Dr. Chokshi architected testing and treatment strategies, navigated school and economic reopenings, and served as principal public spokesperson. Under his tenure, the Health Department’s budget grew to its highest-ever level, reflecting investment in signature initiatives such as the Public Health Corps, Pandemic Response Institute, and New Family Home Visiting program. He also launched the nation’s first publicly-authorized overdose prevention centers, and—as Chair of the NYC Board of Health—promulgated a landmark resolution on racism as a public health crisis.

Dr. Chokshi’s prior work experience spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. From 2014-2020, he served in leadership roles at NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H), including as its inaugural Chief Population Health Officer, where he built an award-winning team dedicated to transforming the largest public health care system in the country. Dr. Chokshi was also Chief Executive Officer of the H+H Accountable Care Organization (ACO), one of the few ACOs in the nation to achieve high quality and cost performance for ten consecutive years. Earlier, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a White House Fellow at the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, where he was the principal health advisor in the Office of the Secretary.

Dr. Chokshi has practiced at Bellevue Hospital since 2014 and is also Clinical Professor of Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine, Senior Scholar at the CUNY School of Public Health, and Senior Fellow at The New School’s Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy. Dr. Chokshi has written on medicine and public health in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, the Lancet, Health Affairs, Science, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, and Scientific American. Currently, Dr. Chokshi is on the nonprofit boards of Community Solutions and Rock Health; is an independent board member at Yuvo Health; and is an advisor to Accompany Health, Sanarai, and the Brown School of Public Health.

He trained in internal medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, where he received the Dunne Award for Compassionate Care, and was a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School. During his training, he did clinical work in Guatemala, Peru, Botswana, Ghana, and India. He received his M.D. with Alpha Omega Alpha distinction from Penn, where he was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and was elected by his peers to win the Joel Gordon Miller Prize. He also earned an MSc in global public health as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and graduated summa cum laude from Duke.


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