Former AmeriHealth Caritas CEO Michael Rashid named Philadelphia commerce director

By Kennedy Rose – Digital Producer, Philadelphia Business Journal

Former AmeriHealth Caritas CEO Michael A. Rashid has been appointed commerce director for the City of Philadelphia.

Rashid retired from Philadelphia-based AmeriHealth Caritas in 2014 after spending 20 years with the company. Under his leadership, the company grew its membership tenfold and expanded its reach and employee base into more than a dozen states. He also served as CEO of Total Health Care in Baltimore, as CEO of the Philadelphia Juneteenth Parade & Festival and worked with the Obama Administration’s National Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

He starts as commerce director on Nov. 30. 

“Michael Rashid brings an unmatched combination of entrepreneurial passion, long-standing relationships, and a business savvy that will be crucial for Philadelphia as we confront the extraordinarily challenging economic climate facing our city,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement Thursday. 

Rashid told the Business Journal upon announcing his retirement from AmeriHealth Caritas that, “Mainly, I’m going to be a retired guy." At 73, he will now helm the department that deals closely with the city’s business corridors, which have been ravaged by Covid-19 shutdowns and permanent closures.

Rashid said in a statement that he plans to implement “fair, equitable and inclusive” business development strategies. 

“While the city’s Department of Commerce leads this important work, I also recognize the power of collaboration,” he said. “It will take an enhanced focus on partnerships across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to bring about the kind of recovery our city — and its residents — deserve.”

Rashid holds a master's of business administration in finance from the Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Southern California.

He succeeds Sylvie Gallier Howard, who served as acting commerce director after Harold Epps left the position in February. Gallier Howard will leave city government to return to consulting on economic development policy, organizational strategy and leadership development, according to the mayor’s office.

“Without a doubt, my eight years in public service have been one of the most rewarding periods of my life,” Gallier Howard said in a statement. “I'm confident that under Mr. Rashid’s leadership, the team will remain committed to their mission of revitalizing our communities and supporting our businesses — especially small businesses — during Philadelphia's economic recovery and beyond.”

Published by Philadelphia Business Journal