Boris Lushniak

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Boris Lushniak
RADM Boris Lushniak acting Surgeon General.jpg
Surgeon General of the United States
In office
July 17, 2013 – December 15, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Regina Benjamin
Succeeded by Vivek Murthy
Personal details
Born Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Northwestern University
Harvard University
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch U.S. Public Health Service
Years of service 1988–2015
Rank USPHSCC O8 infobox.svg Rear Admiral
Unit USPHS Commissioned Corps insignia.png USPHS Commissioned Corps

Boris Lushniak is a retired United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps rear admiral who served as the acting Surgeon General of the United States, from July 17, 2013 to December 18, 2014. he previously served as the Deputy Surgeon General from 2010 to 2013 and from 2014 to 2015 when Vivek Murthy assumed office as Surgeon General. He retired from the Public Health Service on December 8, 2015 after over 27 years of service. On October 4, 2016 he was appointed dean of the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health, effective January 9, 2017.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Lushniak is of Ukrainian ancestry, went to St. Ignatius College Prep and is a graduate of the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Harvard School of Public Health. He completed a residency in family medicine in 1987 at St Joseph Hospital in Chicago and a residency in dermatology at the University of Cincinnati in 1993.[2]


Starting out in the Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1988, Lushniak spent the next 16 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on assignments in Russia, Kosovo and Bangladesh. He also worked at the World Trade Center site and with the CDC anthrax team. Lushniak joined the Food and Drug Administration in 2004. He served as the Chief Medical Officer, Office of Counter-terrorism Policy and Planning in the Office of the Commissioner before being named FDA Assistant Commissioner, Counterterrorism Policy and Director of the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats within the Office of the Commissioner, the following year. In 2010 he was promoted to Rear Admiral (Upper Half) and named Deputy Surgeon General.[2] Between July 2013 and December 2014 he served as Acting Surgeon General until the appointment of Vivek Murthy was approved December 15, 2014.[3]

Retiring from the USPHS in September 2015, Lushniak joined the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Lushniak served as the chairman of the Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics department.[4]

Role in Ebola virus cases in the United States[edit]

During the ebola crisis in the US the vacancy of the position of Surgeon General was a topic of note. Lushniak "has not been confirmed, and lacks the authority to actively pursue a public health agenda for the nation" per New England Journal of Medicine Editors-in-Chief and executive editor in October 2014, who stated also: "We have heard little from him during the Ebola outbreak".[5] The Washington Post wrote, that he has kept a low profile during the Ebola crisis, deferring to CDC Director Tom Frieden to speak publicly to educate and reassure the people.[6] Yet CBS News quoted Lawrence Gostin, director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, and Michael Leavitt saying that a surgeon general would probably not be an effective leader in the fight against Ebola.[7]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Lushniak is the recipient of the following awards and decorations:[8]

Uniformed services awards and decorations
Gold star
Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
USPHSCC Deputy Surgeon General Badge.png
Office of HHS ID Badge.png
Field Medical Readiness Badge
1st row Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal Surgeon General's Medallion
2nd row Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Medal Public Health Service Outstanding Service Medal with 1 gold award star Public Health Service Commendation Medal
3rd row Public Health Service Achievement Medal with 1 award star Public Health Service Citation Medal Public Health Service Outstanding Unit Citation with 3 bronze service stars
4th row Public Health Service Unit Commendation with 1 silver and 4 bronze service stars Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Public Health Service Hazardous Duty Award
5th row Public Health Service Foreign Duty Service Award Public Health Service Special Assignment Service Award Public Health Service Crisis Response Service Award with 2 service stars
6th row Public Health Service Bicentennial Unit Commendation Award Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon Commissioned Corps Training Ribbon
Deputy (or acting) Surgeon General Badge
Department of Health and Human Services Identification Badge

Personal life[edit]

Lushniak is married with one son, , and is a member of Plast, serving at camps for Ukrainians in Wisconsin and New York.[9]


  1. ^ "UMD Welcomes Former U.S. Deputy Surgeon General as Dean of the School of Public Health | UMD School of Public Health". Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Biography of the Deputy Surgeon General Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H.". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Archived from the original on December 27, 2014. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Finally, a New Surgeon General". The Atlantic. December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Dr. Boris Lushniak to join Hébert School of Medicine academic leadership team". Defense Health Agency. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  5. ^ G.D. Curfman; S. Morrissey & J.M. Drazen (22 October 2014). "Where Is the Surgeon General?". NEJM. 371 (17). doi:10.1056/NEJMe1412890. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Colby Itkowitz (8 October 2014). "Does it matter that we don’t have a surgeon general in place right now?". Washington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Rebecca Kaplas (October 13, 2014). "As calls for Ebola "czar" grow, where's the surgeon general?". CBS News. 
  8. ^ "3rd Annual Power of Inclusion Conference Program Speakers". Loma Linda University Health. Retrieved 2 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Biography of Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak". My Travel Plans 4U. Archived from the original on 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2011-05-27.