Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Chair

Meet Commissioner Arkoosh


Dr. Valerie Arkoosh was unanimously elected as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners on November 17, 2016, succeeding former Commission Chair Josh Shapiro. First appointed to fill a vacancy on the Commission in January 2015, Arkoosh won election to a full four-year term in November 2015 and served as Commission Vice Chair until her election as Chair.

Arkoosh is a longtime resident of Montgomery County who has been engaged in public health policy development across all levels of government during her impressive career. She is a nationally-recognized public health policy expert. Until recently, she was Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. She sought the Democratic nomination in 2014 for the 13th Congressional District seat.

Arkoosh is a graduate of the University Of Nebraska College Of Medicine and has a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She performed her residency at Jefferson Medical College in Anesthesiology with a special focus on Obstetrics. She has an undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University.
Valarie Arkoosh
Her strong educational background propelled her into national prominence, and has given her a unique blend of public health, leadership, and medical expertise. Upon obtaining her Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins in 2007, she became deeply engaged in the national effort to achieve comprehensive healthcare reform. She led a national non-profit organization of physicians, who, putting their patients before profits, joined a broad-based nationwide coalition for reform. During this time, she developed policy and legislative strategy, and promoted public engagement in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and throughout the country.

While much of her career has been in medicine and public health, Arkoosh has significant experience in dealing with many of the same challenges governments face. She has significant leadership experience managing complex organizations during times of fiscal challenge. Arkoosh served for five years as Chair of Anesthesiology at the Drexel University College of Medicine where she successfully drew upon her undergraduate training in economics to restore her department to fiscal solvency following the Allegheny University bankruptcy. During this challenging time, she also served as Interim Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and was actively involved in the financial oversight of the medical school clinical practice plan.

Arkoosh was an important and active member of the Shapiro-Richards transition team in 2011, serving as co-chair of the Health and Human Services Subcommittee. This effort gave her not only a working knowledge of how county government functioned when this administration came into office, but it also allowed her to play an important role in helping to craft the transformative changes that were subsequently made. Later, Arkoosh served as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Health, until she resigned to run for Congress.

Arkoosh lives in Springfield Township with her husband, Jeff Harbison, and their three children.

To contact Commissioner Arkoosh, please email val@montcopa.org.