Howard Backer, MD, MPH
Director, California Emergency Medical Services Authority
Howard Backer, MD, MPH, FACEP, is director of the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), which establishes and enforces standards for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel, coordinates with local EMS systems, oversees development of statewide care systems, and prepares for and responds to disasters. Backer previously served at the California Department of Public Health, where he was chief of the immunization branch and was interim director and interim state health officer. From 2008 to 2011, Backer was associate secretary for emergency preparedness at the California Health and Human Services Agency. Before government service, Backer practiced emergency medicine full-time for 25 years in rural, urban, and suburban settings.
He received a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley, and a medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco.