Department of Health names new deputy commissioner for public health services

Dr. Sejal Hathi, a former White House senior policy adviser, is joining the New Jersey Department of Health as deputy commissioner for public health services, Commissioner Judith Persichilli announced Monday.

Hathi will begin in her new role at NJDOH on July 3, replacing Dr. Meg Fisher, who has been serving as acting deputy commissioner since September 2022 and will resume her role as special adviser to the commissioner.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Hathi to the New Jersey Department of Health. Her experience will help guide our state as we continue to work to protect and improve public health on behalf of New Jersey residents,” Persichilli said. “Her dedication and commitment to improving public health, maternal and child health, and health equity will help lead state policy for years ahead. We thank Dr. Fisher for stepping up and doing a tremendous job in filling the role of acting deputy commissioner these past months.

In her new role, Hathi will oversee the Divisions of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health; Family Health Services; HIV, STD and TB Services; Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Preparedness; and the Offices of Local Public Health, Opioid Response and Policy, and Women’s Health.

As the White House’s senior policy adviser for public health, Hathi led public health preparedness and response, medical supply chain, and climate health policy for the Domestic Policy Council. Hathi is also a board-certified internal medicine physician and previously served as assistant professor and joint faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“I am deeply honored to join a department and an administration so fiercely dedicated to strengthening New Jersey’s public health infrastructure and to ensuring equitable access to the services and opportunities that will make New Jersey stronger, fairer, and healthier for all,” Hathi said. “I look forward to tackling the challenges ahead as we rebuild in the wake of a once-in-a-century pandemic and accelerate progress on core public health priorities.”

Hathi earned her M.D. and MBA from Stanford University, where she studied as a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow and a Harry S. Truman Scholar. She received a B.S. with honors in molecular biology from Yale University, where she was also a global health fellow. She trained in internal medicine and primary care at Massachusetts General Hospital, during which time she also served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.