Georges C. Benjamin, MD, is well-known in the world of public health as a leader, practitioner and administrator. Benjamin has been the executive director of the American Public Health Association, the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals, since December 2002. He came to that post from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Benjamin became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement in the state’s Medicaid program.
Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Md., is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.
An established administrator, author and orator, Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, Wash., where he managed a 72,000-patient visit ambulatory care service as chief of the Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center. A few years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., 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.
At APHA, Benjamin also serves as publisher of the nonprofit's monthly publication, The Nation's Health, the association's official newspaper, and the American Journal of Public Health, the profession’s premier scientific publication. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters.
Benjamin also serves on the boards of Research!America, Partnership for Prevention, the Reagan-Udall Foundation and is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In 2008, 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 through 2011 and one of the nation’s most powerful physician executives from 2009 to 2011.