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Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Nirav Shah Appointed To Second-In-Command At US CDC

2005 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Nirav Shah will take over as the second-in-command at the United States Center for Disease Control. Nirav’s appointment was announced in early January and will begin in March.
Nirav will join 1998 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Vivek Murthy, the United States Surgeon General, in the nation’s public health leadership. 
In 2019, Nirav became the Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, serving the state of Maine through the pandemic.
“Since his arrival in Maine before the pandemic, and every day throughout it, Nirav has been a trusted advisor to me and an extraordinary leader of the Maine CDC. But even more than that, he was a trusted advisor and a leader to the people of Maine during one of the greatest public health crises of our time,” Maine Governor Janet Mills explained when announcing Nirav’s departure.
“Day after day, week after week, Dr. Shah spoke calmly and directly to the people of Maine, many of whom were scared and uncertain. He delivered to us the unvarnished truth, as best we knew it, and answered our questions with compassion, empathy, humor, and a clarity that gave us much-needed hope in our darkest of days,” she said. 
“While I’m sad to leave the Maine CDC, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” said Nirav. “I’m thankful for the opportunity that Governor Mills and Commissioner Lambrew provided me to serve the people of Maine.  In my new role, I will be honored to serve not just Maine, but the entire nation and carry forward the good work that we have done here.  As I prepare for this next step, I thank the people of Maine for taking care of me, as I’ve always asked them to take care of each other.”
Nirav had served as the director of the Illinois Department of Health from 2014-2019. 
Earlier in his career, Nirav served as the chief Economist of the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, during his tenure as a Henry Luce Scholar. In Cambodia, he worked on a variety of public health programs aimed at reducing corruption in the health care system. In particular, he designed a system that reduced the number of administrative steps required to transfer funds from the central Ministry to rural hospitals, thereby reducing opportunities for corruption and graft. Nirav completed both his medical and law degrees at University of Chicago. After graduating from college, he studied economics at Oxford University. 
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supported Nirav’s work towards an MD at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. He is the child of immigrants from India. 

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