Howard Zucker

  • Spring 2009

Howard Zucker served as Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) in charge of the Health Technology & Pharmaceuticals cluster, and Representative of the Director-General on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Public Health. At WHO, he focused his attention on leading the organization in utilizing simple technologies to improve complex health problems for developing and industrialized nations, incorporating pediatric medications into the Essential Medicines List, the subject of intellectual property as applied to innovation, and combating counterfeit drugs, where he served as Chair of the International Medical Products Anti-counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT).

Prior to his appointment at WHO, Zucker served in the U.S. federal government, initially as a White House Fellow and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health focused on science, technology, and medicine. During his years in Washington he was involved with issues of regenerative medicine, public health preparedness, the anthrax crisis, and preventive health strategies. He was the inspiration behind, as well as developed the nation’s Medical Reserve Corps.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Council for Emerging National Security Affairs, and was a “high-level expert” for NATO on public health/emergency response. Working on a public-private partnership with an educational technology company, Zucker spearheaded The Afghan Family Health Book, a major public health literacy project that has improved the lives of millions in Afghanistan. He has spoken extensively throughout the U.S. on domestic health policy issues and internationally on global health challenges.

Zucker received his B.S. degree from McGill University and while in college worked with NASA astronauts designing Space Shuttle experiments. He received his M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine at age 22, becoming one of America’s youngest doctors. He trained in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital, anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, pediatric critical care medicine and pediatric anesthesiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and pediatric cardiology at Children's Hospital Boston / Harvard Medical School. 

Zucker has served on the Yale University School of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and National Institutes of Health faculties and as a research affiliate at MIT. Zucker holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School. His honors include ABC World News Tonight’s Person of the Week, Columbia University pediatrics Teacher of the Year, member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, and is listed in Best Doctors in America.

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