Doctor Joneigh Khaldun to serve as Chief Medical Executive, Chief Deputy for Health

News & Media

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun to serve as Chief Medical Executive, Chief Deputy for Health

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun to serve as Chief Medical Executive, Chief Deputy for Health

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon today announced the appointment of Joneigh Khaldun, MD, MHP, as Chief Deputy Director for Health and Chief Medical Executive (CME) for the department. Doctor Khaldun currently serves as Director and Health Officer for the Detroit Health Department and is a practicing emergency physician at Henry Ford Hospital. 

In this new role, Doctor Khaldun will oversee the MDHHS’ Population Health, Medical Services, and Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities administrations as well as the Aging and Adult Services Agency. As CME she will serve Michigan citizens by providing professional medical leadership, expertise and coordination in addressing public health issues, workforce issues, and health policy development to the MDHHS.

“Doctor Khaldun will bring strong expertise, diverse experience, and deep passion to state government,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.  “She will become a critical part of our team as we work to improve health across our state.”

According to Executive Order 2016-19, the Chief Medical Executive shall be a physician appointed by the Governor who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The new Chief Medical Executive shall serve as a member of the Governor's Cabinet.

The Office of the Chief Medical Executive in the Department of Health and Human Services will help to protect and promote public health in Michigan by advising the Governor and the Department on public health issues, assessing the state of public health in Michigan and communicating health information to the public.

“I am delighted that Doctor Khaldun is joining us, said Gordon. “Her varied experience in public health, her strong record of spearheading clinical initiatives at all levels of government, and her committed leadership will enable us to deliver better health for more Michiganders.”

Doctor Khaldun has led several coordinated public health responses, including Detroit’s response to the largest Hepatitis A outbreak in Michigan history, vaccinating over 8,500 residents and establishing vaccination procedures in hospitals, clinics and social service agencies. She led Baltimore’s nationally recognized response to the opioid epidemic, expanding access to naloxone and treatment.

"Doctor Khaldun has done great work for the city, rebuilding the health department and tackling challenging problems like the opioid epidemic, teen pregnancy and infant mortality,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.  “We wish her the best in her new role and know she will continue to do great work for Detroit and all of Michigan."

Doctor Khaldun has served as Director and Health Officer at the Detroit Health Department since 2017 and previously served as its Medical Director.  She joined the Detroit Health Department from her position as Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Commissioner for Clinical Services at the Baltimore City Health Department. 

In 2018, Doctor Khaldun was selected for the 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award by the National Minority Quality Forum and was named a Kresge Foundation Emerging Leaders in Public Health Fellow.

Doctor Khaldun has a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from the University of Michigan, a Medical Doctorate (MD) degree from Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in health policy from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Doctor Khaldun joins Elizabeth Hertel as chief deputy for administration and Erin Frisch as chief deputy for opportunity. These three chief deputy directors are responsible for integrating efforts across the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


As Chief Deputy for Administration, Hertel oversees services including External Affairs and Communications, Finance and Administration, and Legislative Services. Hertel served as Director of Michigan Advocacy for Trinity Health and previously served as senior deputy director for Policy, Planning and Legislative Services at MDHHS. She has a BA from Grand Valley State University and an MBA from Michigan State University.


As Chief Deputy for Opportunity, Frisch oversees the Field Operations Administration and the Children's Services Agency. She is also responsible for developing DHHS’s opportunity agenda and for integrating services across multiple operating divisions. Frisch has served as the Title IV-D Director for Michigan and Director of the Office of Child Support. She serves as President of the National Council of Child Support Directors, and on the Board of Directors for the National Child Support Association. Erin graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University.


Doctor Khaldun is expected to begin her position on April 15, 2019.