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Nirav Shah, M.D., J.D.

Director, Illinois Department of Public Health

Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., was appointed as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health in January 2015 after dedicating his career to improving access to quality healthcare.

As a physician, attorney, and former public health economist, he has advised professionals around the nation and world about cost-effective health systems and methods to enhance the delivery of efficient healthcare in policy and practice.

A native Chicagoan, Shah received both his medical and law degrees from the University of Chicago. He lived and worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the chief economist for the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, where he addressed issues related to public health system efficiency. He also served as an epidemiologist for the Ministry, investigating and managing disease outbreaks across Cambodia. Shah also spent several years as an attorney at the renowned law firm, Sidley Austin LLP, where he focused on the administrative and legal aspects of healthcare and public health.

He is currently a lecturer in global public health at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, where he teaches courses on public health policy and epidemiology. He was recently recognized as an “Emerging Leader” by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Shah lives in Chicago with his wife and their dog.

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