Governor Newsom Appoints First-Ever Surgeon General for California

By Xenia Shih Bion


About a year ago, Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, published her first book, The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity. The book chronicles her journey from San Francisco pediatrician to pioneer in the field of research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). On February 11, Burke Harris will take another momentous step on her career journey: She will be sworn in as California’s first-ever surgeon general.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the appointment of Burke Harris on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, describing her as a “pediatrician, entrepreneur, and nonprofit CEO” who has “dedicated her professional career to understanding the link between adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress in children, and the effect both have on future health outcomes.” As surgeon general, Burke Harris will “urge policymakers at every level of government and leaders across the state to consider the social determinants of health, especially for children.”

On the campaign trail, Newsom spoke often about the need to invest in early childhood education and health care, and he has worked quickly to propose early childhood investments in his initial acts as governor. During his inauguration speech he said, “California