PORTLAND — Bob Fowler has been hired as the city’s new public health director.

Fowler has served as the executive director at Milestone Recovery since 2014, and prior to that worked at Sweetser and Community Counseling Center and operated a private mental health and consulting practice.

“Bob is a skilled and respected leader in our community,” Kristen Dow, director of the City’s Health & Human Services Department, said in a prepared release. “In addition to our work related to COVID-19, City public health staff continue to work to improve the lives of our community members through chronic disease and substance use prevention, family health, health equity and research, and infectious disease prevention and treatment.”

Fowler holds a master’s degree in public policy and management from the University of Southern Maine and two certificates of graduate study from USM. He also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Albany and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont.

Bridget Rauscher and Alex Hughes have been serving as co-interim directors of the Public Health division since the previous director left. Fowler will begin in his new role on Aug. 17.