Dr. Georges Benjamin

Georges Benjamin is known as one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today. From his firsthand experience as a physician, he knows what happens when preventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As Executive Director of APHA since 2002, he is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation.

Dr. Benjamin came to APHA from his position as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As Secretary, Dr. Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state’s Medicaid program.

An established administrator, author and orator, Dr. Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, WA, where he managed a 72,000-patient visit ambulatory care service as chief of the Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center and was an attending physician within the Department of Emergency Medicine. A few years later, he moved to Washington, DC, where he served as Chief of Emergency Medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army, he chaired the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He was promoted to Acting Commissioner for public health for the District of Columbia and later directed one of the busiest ambulance services in the nation as Interim Director of the Emergency Ambulance Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.

Dr. Benjamin is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and also serves on the boards for many organizations including Research!America, the Reagan-Udall Foundation and the University of Maryland Medical System. In 2008 and 2014, he was named one of the top 25 minority executives in health care by Modern Healthcare Magazine, in addition to being voted among the 100 most influential people in health care from 2007-2013 and one of the nation’s most influential physician executives from 2009-2014.