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(Dr. Pritesh Gandhi/Twitter)

Dr. Pritesh Gandhi speaks to Cy-Fair Area Democrats in Cypress, Texas on Jan. 8, 2020.

President Joe Biden has named Austin-based Dr. Pritesh Gandhi as the Department of Homeland Security's chief medical officer.


His appointment to the role means that Gandhi will be replacing the current chief medical officer, Dr. Duane Caneva. Caneva had been appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

Gandhi had been the associate medical director for the People's Community Clinic of Austin, an East Austin clinic that cares for over 16,000 uninsured Central Texans, before the clinic announced he had been appointed chief medical officer on Thursday.

He is also an affiliate faculty member specializing in population health and pediatrics at the University of Texas Dell Medical School. He ran to represent Texas' 10th Congressional District but lost the primary runoff in 2020.

After finishing his studies at Tufts School of Medicine, the London School of Economics and Johns Hopkins University, Gandhi has spent his career working with marginalized and impoverished communities and has had a particular focus on poverty reduction.

"He has been an outstanding leader for our clinic and our community during one of the most difficult times in our country's history," Regina Rogoff, People's chief executive officer, told KVUE. "We are proud of the relationship Dr. Gandhi has had with us, and wish him the best in this new and very critical role for our country."


More on the Biden administration:

Austin nonprofit founder to serve under Biden administration

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