Newsom Names South Pasadena Doctor to Director Post

Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced the appointment of practicing pediatrician and South Pasadena resident Mark Ghaly as his secretary for the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), according to a press release from Newsom’s office. Ghaly is also director of health and social impact for Los Angeles County.

As both a physician and an expert in public health, Ghaly brings a deep knowledge and understanding of how individual and community health outcomes intersect with policy and law on issues like whole-person care, mental health and stage of life care, according to the website

“At a time when the Trump Administration is systematically dismantling health care protections for American families, California is moving forward on ideas to cover more people and make health care more affordable,” said Governor Newsom in a prepared statement. “Mark’s experience, passion and vision will be instrumental in driving California to a healthier future.”

Mark Ghaly, 44, of South Pasadena, has served as director of health and social impact for Los Angeles County since 2018. He was deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services overseeing community health and integrated programs from 2011 to 2018 and medical director for the Southeast Health Center, a San Francisco Department of Public Health clinic, from 2006 to 2011. Ghaly earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Public Health degree in health policy from the Harvard School of Public Health. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $209,943.