UCSF Health has named Nicholas Holmes, MD, MBA, as the new president of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and senior vice president of UCSF Health Children’s Services. Holmes joins UCSF Health from Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego, where he has served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for almost a decade.

Starting March 11, Holmes will report to Suresh Gunasekaran, president and chief executive officer of UCSF Health and to the board of directors of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. He will be a core member of the UCSF Health leadership team. The appointment was approved by the University of California Board of Regents on Jan. 26, 2024, following the recommendation by the Board of Directors of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

“Nicholas joins BCH at a particularly dynamic period with several major initiatives underway, including the expansion of our pediatric inpatient capacity at Mission Bay and construction of a $1.5 billion state-of-the-art facility at our Oakland campus,” said Gunasekaran. "Nicholas’ background in clinical care and operations makes him the ideal person to lead BCH to the next level, as we strengthen services and expand our regional presence to provide families throughout the Bay Area with world-class care.”

Holmes will oversee strategic direction and operations for both UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, in Oakland and San Francisco, as well as all pediatric clinical services across the health system, including UCSF-owned and -operated sites and affiliated programs, locations and physicians. The BCH network of care includes six hospital affiliates, 12 specialty satellites and more than 180 primary care pediatricians at over 50 locations across the Bay Area.

I’ve long admired UCSF’s dedication to being of service to the community and to providing a diverse and equitable workforce, and I’m incredibly honored by the opportunity to be a part of that.”

Nicholas Holmes, MD

He has more than three decades of experience in clinical care and operations, as well as close ties with the UC system in both his leadership role and personal medical training. Holmes has been a senior leader at Rady Children’s Hospital since 2014, where he provided strategic direction for multiple specialty services. With $2 billion in operating revenue, 501 licensed beds and more than 5,000 employees, Rady serves three counties in Southern California and has an academic affiliation with the UC San Diego School of Medicine. In 2023-24, it was ranked among the top 10 children’s hospitals nationwide in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals list.

Holmes has held several positions at Rady Children’s, including acting surgeon-in-chief, medical director of surgical services and chief of pediatric urology. Previously, he was a commander in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy, where he served as head urologist and specialty advisor to the Navy surgeon general. He was a pediatric urology fellow at UCSF and holds an MBA degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a medical degree from Georgetown University.

“During my fellowship at UCSF, I was very inspired by the faculty and staff’s spirit and deep commitment to children on both sides of the Bay,” Holmes said. “I’ve long admired UCSF’s dedication to being of service to the community and to providing a diverse and equitable workforce, and I’m incredibly honored by the opportunity to be a part of that.”

Under Holmes’ leadership, Rady embarked on a $1 billion campus master plan to remodel existing buildings and meet seismic requirements, including building a new acute care patient tower to meet the needs of expanding critical care volumes. He was also the incident commander for the organization’s response to COVID-19, which included creation of a COVID vaccine community clinic for all children and adults, and served as executive lead for employee groups focused on DEI initiatives. The San Diego Business Journal recognized him as a Top 50 Black Leader of Influence and a Top 50 LGBTQ+ Leader of Influence for two consecutive years.

Holmes succeeds Matthew Cook, MBA, who is now CEO of the Children’s Hospital Association in Washington, D.C.