Rahul Gupta

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Rahul Gupta
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Assumed office
November 5, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byRegina LaBelle (acting)
Personal details
Born1970 or 1971 (age 52–53)
EducationDelhi University (MD)
University of Alabama, Birmingham (MPH)
London School of Business and Finance (MBA)

Rahul Gupta (born 1970 or 1971)[1] is an American physician from the state of West Virginia. In 2021, he was appointed to serve as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy by President Joe Biden. He formerly served at the helm of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.[2]

Early life[edit]

Gupta was born in India and raised in a suburb of Washington, D.C. His father is a diplomat.[2] Gupta earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University College of Medical Sciences of Delhi University. He earned a Master of Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He worked as an assistant professor of medicine at Meharry Medical College and at UAB.[3]

Medical career[edit]

Gupta ran the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department from 2009 to 2014.[4] He became the director of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, an agency housed within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, in 2015.[5]

In this role, he focused on reducing overdose deaths from the opioid epidemic.[2] He also led West Virginia's response to the Zika virus and Ebola epidemics.[6] He left the role in 2018 to become the chief medical officer of the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization.[7]

Biden administration[edit]

Gupta was the lead member of the 2020 presidential transition of Joe Biden for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).[8] Biden nominated him to be director of the ONDCP on July 13, 2021.[9] His nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on October 28,[10] and he was sworn into office on November 18.[11]

Upon taking office, Gupta noted that addressing “the overdose epidemic that has claimed more than 100,000 lives between April 2020 and April 2021” would be his priority.[12] In office, he has pushed for funding opioid addiction treatment programs for incarcerated individuals.[13]


  1. ^ Ehley, Brianna (May 2, 2018). "The Immigrant Doctor Who's Solving West Virginia's Opioids Crisis". Politico. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Ehley, Brianna (May 2, 2018). "The Immigrant Doctor Who's Solving West Virginia's Opioids Crisis". POLITICO Magazine.
  3. ^ Payne, Aaron (December 15, 2014). "Gupta ready for chief health officer role".
  4. ^ Staff, WSAZ News (November 11, 2020). "Former Kanawha-Charleston Health Dept. director, W.Va. Health Officer named to Biden transition team". www.wsaz.com.
  5. ^ "Dr. Rahul Gupta to lead DHHR's Bureau for Public Health". WV News. December 4, 2014. Retrieved June 27, 2023.
  6. ^ Kumar, Arun (July 14, 2021). "Indian Americans, Atul Gawande, Rahul Gupta to get key health roles - The American Bazaar". Retrieved June 27, 2023.
  7. ^ McElhinny, Brad (September 18, 2018). "Gupta leaving state Bureau of Public Health". WV MetroNews. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
  8. ^ LIEU, SARAH (November 11, 2020). "Dr. Rahul Gupta, former top W.Va. health official, part of presidential transition team". WCHS.
  9. ^ "Biden picks former West Virginia health official as drug czar". POLITICO. July 13, 2021.
  10. ^ "US Senate confirms Gupta as White House drug czar". October 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "West Virginia's Dr. Rahul Gupta is now the nation's Drug Czar". November 18, 2021.
  12. ^ "@DrGupta46". Twitter. November 18, 2021.
  13. ^ Weiland, Noah (April 21, 2023). "In Jails and Prisons, the White House Sees a Chance to Curtail Opioid Overdoses". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 27, 2023.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Regina LaBelle
Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy