17. Mark Ghaly
When the COVID-19 state of emergency ended in March after three years, one would think that California’s top health officer would at least take a nap. We doubt it. Dr. Mark Ghaly, the secretary of Health and Human Services and principal health advisor to Gov. Newsom, implements the governor’s mental health proposals, including California’s new CARE Courts, an effort to provide more individualized, community-based mental health care, scheduled to launch in some counties this fall. But he hasn’t left COVID-19 entirely behind. He continues to dispense advice about protecting vulnerable populations and talking about what the pandemic can teach us about health inequities. Ghaly, a primary care pediatrician, has degrees in biology and biomedical ethics from Brown University, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, and a Master’s Degree from Harvard’s School of Public Health. He is married to Christina Ghaly, who directs L.A. County’s Department of Health Services.
Updated Aug. 15, 2023