Murthy would replace Regina Benjamin, who was appointed in 2009 and left her position at the Department of Health and Human Services in July.
Murthy, cofounder and president of Doctors for America, is a hospitalist attending physician and instructor in medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School. He received a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management and an M.D. from Yale School of Medicine.
Obama also announced his intention to nominate Debo P. Adegbile for assistant attorney general for civil rights, Department of Justice; Marc Kastner for director of the Office of Science, Department of Energy; and Franklin Orr for undersecretary for science, Department of Energy.
"I am confident that these outstanding individuals will greatly serve the American people in their new roles and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come," Obama said.