Ilitch School Announces Denise Fair Razo to receive 2023 Emerging Leader Award

Denise Fair Razo

The Mike Ilitch School of Business has announced that Denise Fair Razo has been selected to receive the 2023 Emerging Leader Award at the 43rd annual Recognition and Awards Program. 

She currently oversees the Detroit Health Department as Chief Public Health Officer for Detroit since 2019 when she was appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan. In this role she leads a team of 250 healthcare professionals who operate over 40 services and programs dedicated to protecting and promoting safety, health and wellbeing for Detroiters.  

Razo and her team led Detroit’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was instrumental in providing rapid testing, education and vaccination clinics, in addition to conducting communicable disease investigations, environmental health and safety inspections and programs to support healthy children. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Razo to Michigan’s Public Health Advisory Council to represent local public health officials. She also serves on the boards of the Public Health Foundation, Detroit Authority, The Parade Company, The Midwest Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, as well as her high school alma mater, Greenhills School. 

Razo was named 2020 Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40,” Joyce Ivey Foundation’s “Woman of Impact,” Michigan Chronicle’s “Women of Excellence,” Southwest Detroit Business Association’s 2021 “Michigan Ave Award for Public Service,” and the City by Black Family Development’s 2022 “Health Champion.”  

Razo will be honored on November 17, 2023, at the 43rd annual Recognition and Awards Program at the Roostertail. She will be honored next to the recipients of this year’s Michigan Executive of the Year Award, Distinguished Alumni Award, Outstanding Student Award, Inspirational Teacher Award, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hall of Fame Award and the Corporate Mentorship Program Founders Awards. 

To RSVP and purchase tickets, which are $150 each, please use the online reservation system.  

For more information, to view past winners or to nominate someone for a future award please visit Signature Awards - Mike Ilitch School of Business - Wayne State University.  

View all news stories