Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to lead the Office of Health Equity (OHE) and serve as a Deputy Director at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) since spring of 2021. He strives to uphold the universal values of love, dignity, and transformation. He believes that inequity in a world of abundance is morally and socially unacceptable. He aims to advance partnerships to change narratives and power structures to help create a California for All.
In his current role, he supports COVID-19 vaccine equity efforts in California, serves as the Tribal Liaison for CDPH, and leads OHE’s broad portfolio: advancing anti-racism through a Racial Health Equity Initiative, advancing Health in All Policies including California’s climate change planning, advancing behavioral wellness and resiliency for diverse populations through the California Reducing Disparities Project, promoting gender health equity, and meeting OHE’s statutory mandate.
Rohan has 20 years of experience learning from and working with impacted communities. He spent 10 years at a local health department most recently serving as Co-Chair of the Health Equity Committee at the California Conference of Local Health Officers since 2019 and Deputy Health Officer at Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) since 2018. His local experience responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, power shutoffs, wildfire smoke, and heat emergencies has solidified his commitment to addressing the overlapping public health crises of climate change and structural racism. He was Chair of the Department of Family and Adult Medicine at CCHS from 2015 to 2019.
Rohan brings a global perspective to California’s diverse population having lived and worked abroad. As a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador from 2002 to 2004 he worked with the Ministry of Health’s Indigenous Health Bureau on disparity elimination regarding nutrition, chronic disease, and maternal-child health. In 2005 he was Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador at Doctors Without Borders. He was a Public Health Consultant with UNICEF in 2006 and the Norwegian Refugee Council in 2007 addressing the health impacts of displacement amongst vulnerable youth via rapid community based participatory research. In 2009 and 2010 he was a Rotary Ambassador Scholar in India focused on rural inequities of chronic disease. His efforts always focus on building healthy communities in partnership with impacted populations.
Rohan graduated from Stanford University (B.A. in Human Biology, Concentration in Cross-Cultural Medicine, and Honors in Latin American Studies), University of California, Berkeley (M.P.H and M.S), Christian Medical College in Vellore, India (certificate in Infectious Disease), and University of California, San Francisco (M.D.).