Amar A. Desai, MD, MPH

President and CEO, Optum Pacific West


Dr. Amar Desai is a practicing physician, public health leader and health care executive with decades of experience transforming the health care system and helping patients lead healthier, more fulfilled lives.

Through his work at the intersection of direct patient care and health care systems, Dr. Desai has developed innovative delivery models that improve clinical outcomes, increase affordability, and transform the experience of being a health care consumer.

By translating clinical excellence into economic value, Dr. Desai has improved care delivery in a range of settings, including early-stage start-ups, organizational turnaround, Fortune 200 companies, and academic health systems.

Dr. Desai is currently President and CEO of Optum Pacific West, overseeing Optum’s care delivery organizations throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. Collectively, these organizations are comprised of more than 20,000 physicians and serve nearly 2.5 million patients.

Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 10 company, and is dedicated to providing an outstanding patient and clinician experience and convenient access to high quality, affordable care.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Desai served as the President of HealthCare Partners, a leading integrated delivery network serving over 700,000 patients.

Dr. Desai also served as CEO of University of Southern California (USC) Care where he led transformative growth and positioned the university's medical center as a regional leader for complex care.

Prior to USC, Dr. Desai was a senior executive at DaVita, a global leader in dialysis care, where he advanced integrated kidney care models and led corporate strategy for the enterprise. Early in his career, Dr. Desai served as an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Desai received his Bachelor’s and Medical Degrees from Brown University, and his Masters in Public Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco.

He is currently an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at USC and has previously held faculty appointments at Stanford School of Medicine and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.