City of Cleveland - Public Health Staff


Merle Gordon - Director

Mayor Frank G. Jackson appointed Merle R. Gordon to serve as the Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) in June, 2016. She leads a team of over 150 people who serve as stewards of the public health for the residents and visitors of the City of Cleveland.

Director Gordon led CDPH through the successful process of seeking accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) by implementing a culture of continuous quality improvement, developing a strategic plan with clear mission, vision and value statements, and initiating the role changing process to become Chief Health Strategists as defined under Public Health 3.0.

At 27, she was the youngest woman elected to serve on Cleveland City Council. After stepping down from City Council, she attended the John. F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. She returned to Cleveland and worked at the Cleveland Clinic as their Public Policy Director; Kaiser Permanente Ohio as their Director of Community Benefit; and HealthSpan as their Director of Government Affairs and Exchange Operations. Merle earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Housing Policy from Hampshire College.


Persis Sosiak - Health Commissioner

Persis A. Sosiak was sworn in by Mayor Frank Jackson as the Commissioner of the Division of Health on December 5, 2016. Prior to joining CDPH, Persis served for 11 years at Cleveland Clinic. She also spent time for working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIOSH), the Alexandria Health Department (Alexandria, VA) and an international NGO (the American International Health Alliance). Persis holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health (Yale University) and is a Registered Nurse in the State of Ohio.

Brian Kimball - Environment Commissioner

In December, 2016 Brian was sworn in as the Commissioner of Environment. He is responsible for overseeing Environmental Health programs including Food Safety, Solid & Infectious Waste, Local Health Code enforcement, Public Pools and the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

Just prior, he spent over 12 years successfully leading both the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and Lead Hazard Control programs for the City which restored program success. As a subject matter expert, Brian worked with community groups to organize workshops and events to educate parents and young children about the dangers of lead in paint and informed policy makers and stakeholders of the link between health and housing. Brian has over 19 years as a Public Health professional for the City of Cleveland including serving as a Public Health Sanitarian working and leading various environmental health programs.

Brian earned a Bachelor of Science at Cleveland State University in Environmental Studies. Most recently, he completed the Kresge Foundation’s Emerging Leaders in Public Health initiative, which equips local public health officers with knowledge and skills to transform the role of public health in their community, and the Cleveland State University Leadership Academy, which provides leadership development for governmental and nonprofit organizations throughout northeast Ohio.


David Hearne - Air Quality Interim Commissioner

David Hearne is an accomplished public health executive with demonstrated expertise in air quality regulation. Since 2016, Mr. Hearne has served as the Interim Commissioner for the Cleveland Division of Air Quality. In this capacity he oversees all management, planning, and operations for this local air agency a delegated representative of Ohio EPA.

Mr. Hearne has more than 35 years of air pollution regulatory development experience from the U.S. EPA consulting sector and public sector management experience as the Chief of Engineering in the Division of Air Quality.

Mr. Hearne is a member of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies and the Ohio Local Air Pollution Control Officers Association. He serves as the chairperson on the Air Quality Subcommittee with the Northeast Ohio Area-wide Coordinating Agency. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, and a M.S. in Environmental Biology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2010, he completed the Cleveland Management Academy curriculum at Cleveland State University - Levin College of Urban Affairs.