George L. Askew is Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Health, Human Services, and Education for Prince George’s County, Maryland. He is responsible for oversight of the Health Department, Department of Social Services, and Department of Social Services for the County’s over 900,000 residents. Prior to this he served as Deputy Commissioner of Health in the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There he was responsible for overseeing and managing the Division of Family and Child Health. Prior to his service in NYC the Obama Administration appointed him as the first Chief Medical
Officer for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In that role he provided expert advice and consultation to the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families on plans, programs, policies, and initiatives that addressed the health needs and strengths of children and families facing significant social, health, and economic challenges – including, but not limited to: early childhood health and development, Affordable Care Act outreach and education, and addressing human trafficking and supporting its survivors.
Dr. Askew has a longstanding history of innovative work in child and family advocacy and executive leadership. He is a former Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood Health and Development in ACF, where his role was leading and supervising a team of staff working on inter-departmental health-related early childhood initiatives. Prior to joining HHS he was Deputy CEO and Chief Development Officer for Voices for America’s Children, Founder of Docs For Tots, and former CEO and President of Jumpstart for Young Children.
Because of his initiative, vision, and national impact, in 2005 Dr. Askew was named an Ashoka International Fellow. He was recognized as a national and global leader for his efforts to link health professionals with early childhood advocacy, embodying the ideals of civic engagement and creative solution-building nurtured by the international fellowship program. Ashoka identifies and supports social entrepreneurs as they catalyze change in their societies.
Prior to launching Docs For Tots, he was a Fellow in the Soros Open Society Institute, Medicine as a Profession, Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians, working with ZERO TO THREE in Washington, D.C. Between stints as a Soros Advocacy Fellow, Dr. Askew served as Chief of the Health and Disabilities Services Branch of the Head Start Bureau and Medical Advisor for the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families in HHS. There his primary job was to provide leadership in developing policies, oversight and support systems to improve the quality of outcomes of medical, dental, nutritional, mental health and disabilities services to more than 900,000 Head Start and Early Head Start children. Just prior to coming to Washington, he was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health (Maternal and Child Health) at the Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Division of Community Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.
Dr. Askew was born and raised in inner-city Cleveland, Ohio. He was a Head Start graduate and later earned a BA in Psychology and Social Relations at Harvard University. He played on the Harvard Rugby 1984 National Collegiate Champion team. Upon graduation from Harvard he received the Kirkland House Community Service and Spirit of Kirkland House Awards.
Dr. Askew graduated from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. As a student he was selected as an American Medical Student Association International Health Fellow and spent his final year at the Kwame Nkrumah, University of Science & Technology, School of Medical Sciences, in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. He was honored at his medical school graduation with the Harry Resnick Memorial Award “given to the student who is deserving by virtue of unusual accomplishment.” After medical school he completed residency training in Pediatrics and International Health at Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Class of 1992 Epidemic Intelligence Service, also known as the “Disease Detectives.”
In May of 2019 he was welcomed into the BMe Vanguard Fellowship program for “remarkable black men and women whose dedication to helping others has earned them the trust of their peers, coworkers and community”. In November of 2013 Dr. Askew was inducted into the Benedictine High School “Hall of Distinction” https://tinyurl.com/y6djglhd. In 2011 ZERO TO THREE recognized Dr. Askew as the honored guest and discussant for the inaugural Stanley Greenspan Memorial Leadership Conversation. In 2008-09 he served on the Obama-Biden Transition Team. In 2006 he was honored with the Salute to Excellence Award for significant contributions in Health from the Xi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In 2005-06 he was a consultant to the Center for American Progress serving as a Senior Fellow in their Health Policy Group. In 1999, he was one of 50 professionals identified as a “Future Leader” and invited to participate in the New Leadership Program of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Child Health Research Center. In 1999, Dr. Askew was honored with acceptance into the inaugural class of ZERO TO THREE Leaders for the 21st Century Mid–Career Fellows. He was a national finalist in the 1995-1996 White House Fellowship Program.