Press Release

Press Release Dr. Robert Goldstein Appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Media Contact for Dr. Robert Goldstein Appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Olivia James, Communications Manager

BOSTONToday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh announced that Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD will be the next Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH), effective April 18, 2023. Dr. Goldstein is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an infectious disease physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.

“I am proud to have Robbie join us at DPH as we work to address some of the most critical issues facing all residents in Massachusetts, with a focus on health equity, inclusion, and reducing barriers to care for the most vulnerable communities in our state. His expertise both as a physician and as a policy advisor positions him well to lead the public health response in Massachusetts, and I appreciate his willingness to serve in this role,” said Secretary Walsh. “I want to extend my gratitude to Margret Cooke for her years of dedicated service to the Commonwealth, and particularly for her work as Commissioner addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I am honored to be the next Commissioner, and I am inspired by the opportunity to work alongside the extraordinary public health workforce at DPH and across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Goldstein. “The power and impact of public health are tremendous. We face big challenges – among them, gun violence in our streets and homes, substance use taking the lives of too many, threats to reproductive health care, ongoing efforts to address COVID-19, and ensuring preparedness for whatever may come next. With an approach rooted in equity and a commitment to including those who too often have confronted structural barriers in their paths, we can meet this moment and improve the health of all residents in the Commonwealth.” 

At CDC, Goldstein serves as an advisor to Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH on public health emergency response, infectious diseases, and CDC’s strategic policy initiatives. He has been actively engaged in the CDC’s emergency response to COVID-19 and the successful mission to control the 2022 outbreak of mpox. Prior to his time at CDC, Goldstein was the Medical Director and founder of the MGH Transgender Health Program, a multidisciplinary clinical program that created a safe and affirming environment for the transgender and non-binary community of Massachusetts and New England. Trained in infectious diseases, with a specialty in HIV treatment and prevention, Goldstein has focused his clinical work on providing care to those living with and at risk for HIV. His experience caring for patients drives his academic and policy pursuits, identifying and working to eliminate barriers to equitable access to care.

Goldstein holds a BS, MD, and PhD from Tufts University. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at MGH where he served as Chief Resident. He completed his infectious disease training in the MGH/Brigham and Women’s Hospital infectious disease program.

Margret Cooke will stay on in an advisory capacity to support a smooth transition at DPH. Cooke was appointed Commissioner in February 2022 after having served as Acting Commissioner for seven months. She joined DPH as General Counsel in 2015, providing legal and strategic counsel to guide the department through critical public health issues including COVID-19 and the opioid epidemic. Over the course of nearly 25 years of her career dedicated to public service, Cooke has advanced public health, child welfare, justice for victims of domestic violence, behavioral health parity, reproductive health care, consumer protection and civil rights.


Media Contact for Dr. Robert Goldstein Appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

    The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is the largest secretariat in state government and is comprised of 11 agencies and the MassHealth program. Our efforts are focused on the health, resilience, and independence of the one in four residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.
  • Help Us Improve with your feedback