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Who is Alice Chen, wife of Biden’s surgeon general Vivek Murthy?

Bruno Cooke March 24, 2021
Who is Alice Chen, wife of Biden’s surgeon general Vivek Murthy?
Photo by Caroline Brehman-Pool/Getty Images

Yorkshire-born, Harvard-educated Vivek Hallegere Murthy is the first surgeon general of Indian descent. In 2015, Murthy married Doctors for America founder Alice Chen. What else do we know about Alice Chen and Vivek Murthy?

Who is Alice Chen?

By no means outshone by her husband Vivek Murthy, Alice Chen is an accomplished physician and assistant clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

She has also held positions at Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership and George Washington University. 

Founding director of Doctors for America

However, arguably the biggest feather in her cap is Doctors for America, a non-profit that mobilises doctors and medical students to be leaders. Their vision: “a healthy America for everyone”.

Chen co-founded the organisation with her husband Vivek and fellow physician Mandy Cohen in 2008.

Doctors for America has 18,000 members and last year formed the Women’s Health Working Group in order to “provide a review of policies from the lens of women’s health”.

When did Alice Chen and Vivek Murthy meet?

Murthy posted on Facebook in April 2019 that when he first met his wife Alice Chen, he was “struck by her humility, disarming authenticity and quiet passion for people”.

“The world needs more Alices. So proud.”

While it is unclear exactly when they met – his AllGov bio stated on Christmas Day, 2014 that he was single – the couple married in August, 2015, in California. 

Boston Magazine called it “a gorgeous multi-cultural ceremony”.

The couple present a strong united front, even co-authoring articles on Medium.

Do they have kids?

Murthy and Chen have two children.

Alice is from the San Francisco Bay Area, but little information is available about her family.

Vivek Murthy family 

In terms of Murthy’s other family members, his parents immigrated from Karnataka, in southwest India, initially to the UK and later to the US.

Vivek’s grandfather was the director of Mysore Sugar Company. 

Murthy himself was born in Huddersfield, England, but the family moved to Miami when he was just three years old.

His mother, Myetraie, worked in the medical practice, while his father, Hallegere, was a physician. 

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or