Aakash K. Shah, M.D.
Director of Addiction Medicine and the Medical Director of Project HEAL, Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Updated: October 19, 2021
Aakash Shah, M.D., an emergency medicine physician at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, has been named to the 2021-2022 class of White House Fellows. The prestigious White House Fellowship program embeds professionals from diverse backgrounds for a year of working as a full-time, paid fellow for White House staff, Cabinet Secretaries, and other senior government officials.
Aakash Shah is being placed at the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Shah helped treat some of the earliest confirmed cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic. He also serves as the Director of Addiction Medicine and the Medical Director of Project HEAL (a hospital-based violence intervention program) at Jersey Shore University Medical Center as well as the Medical Director of New Jersey Reentry Corp. His work in those roles has resulted in several reforms, including the elimination of prior authorization requirements for medications for opioid use disorder, and he received the bipartisan endorsement of five former New Jersey governors.
He previously served as the Founder and Executive Director of Be Jersey Strong, which represented one of the largest and most diverse efforts to connect the uninsured to coverage in the nation, and was honored by President Barack Obama at the White House for its impact. He has also served as an advisor to several local, state, and federal campaigns and policymakers. He obtained his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, M.B.A. and M.Sc. in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and B.A. and B.S. from Ursinus College. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Centenary University.
About the White House Fellowship Program
President Lyndon B. Johnson created the White House Fellows Program in 1964 with the purpose of “give[ing] the Fellows first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal Government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.” The Fellowship functions as a non-partisan program maintained throughout both Republican and Democratic administrations. Throughout the year, Fellows actively participate in an education program that expands their knowledge of leadership, policy-making, and contemporary issues. The mission of the White House Fellows Program is to encourage active citizenship and service to the country.
Selection into the program is based on a record of professional accomplishment, evidence of leadership skills, the potential for further growth, and a commitment to service. This year’s White House Fellows advanced through a highly competitive selection process, and they are a remarkably gifted, passionate, and accomplished group. Over half of the fellows are women and overall reflect the diversity of America. These fellows bring experience from a broad cross-section of professions, from the private sector, local government, academia, medicine, law, and the military.