Meet Harris County Public Health executive director Dr. Umair Shah

HOUSTON, Texas -- Umair A. Shah M.D., M.P.H., Executive Director, Harris County Public Health

  • Dr. Shah was appointed Executive Director and Local Health Authority for Harris County Public Health in 2013.
  • Dr. Shah has responded to large-scale emergencies like novel H1N1, Ebola and Zika along with natural disasters like Tropical Storm Allison, Hurricanes Rita, Ike and Harvey. He has also responded to devastating earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti.
  • During Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Shah served as medical branch co-director for the 27,000 evacuees sheltered at Houston's Astrodome in 2005.
  • Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Shah grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He likes cricket and baseball but despite his time here in Houston, remains a die-hard Cincinnati Bengals football fan.
  • Dr. Shah is married with three children. Even his kids have gotten in on getting the message about safety in the time of the coronavirus outbreak.




  • Before his post as Harris County's top doctor, Dr. Shah worked as an emergency department physician at Houston's VA Medical Center and served as Chief Medical Officer of Galveston County.
  • Dr. Shah has participated in various trainings, including with the World Health Organization, and sits on several national boards and advisory groups including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University and his M.D. from the University of Toledo Health Science Center before completing his residency fellowship and his M.P.H. from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.