Dr. Faisal Khan appointed as next King County health director

Dennis Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until September 6.

On June 29, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced the appointment of the next Director of Public Health–Seattle & King County, Dr. Faisal Khan.

Khan, who begins his new role Sept. 6, has over 25 years of leadership experience in public health at global, state, and local levels.

Public Health–Seattle & King County protects and improves the health and well-being of over 2 million residents across the county. The department focuses on environmental health, emergency medical services, parent-child health, reproductive health, injury, violence, chronic disease prevention, and disease investigation and response, among others.

“Dr. Khan has the experience and expertise to lead Public Health into the next phase, and he brings a fresh perspective to serving the people of King County,” said Constantine. “We look forward to his leadership as our dedicated employees continue our national reputation for excellence in public health and health equity, making King County a community where every person can thrive.”

Khan holds interest in social and economic factors that contribute to disease. He most recently served as the acting Public Health Director for St. Louis County Department of Health in Missouri. He served as their director from 2015-2018, and served as their director of Communicable Disease Control from 2010-2015.

From 2018-2021, Khan served as the CEO of the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, where he provided primary care services to patients in the greater Kansas City area.

Over his career, Khan has worked in Pakistan, Australia, Vietnam, South Africa, Botswana, and the United States on numerous disease control issues such as TB/HIV co-infection, multidrug resistant (MDR) TB, and hepatitis B and C, among others.

“Public health is not just a career. It’s a calling in life,” said Khan. “I look forward to earning the trust of the people of King County.” said Khan.

Dennis Worsham is currently serving as Public Health–Seattle & King County’s interim director, working through his second year of COVID-19 pandemic response. As interim director, Worsham has also focused on homelessness, opioid deaths, and gun violence.

“It’s been a profound honor to serve the community in this historically challenging time. I am so proud of our staff, who have shown themselves to be the most adaptable, compassionate, innovative and collaborative team that anyone could hope to lead,” said Worsham.

Khan’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Metropolitan King County Council and the Seattle City Council. Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until Khan begins with the department on Sept. 6.