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Meet Priya Agrawal

Board Member, South Africa

Dr. Priya Agrawal is Chief Behavioral Science officer for Global Vaccines at Merck. Previously at MSD she was Managing Director for South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa Cluster (2019-2021) and Executive Director for Vaccines and Women’s Health in the UK (2016-2019) where she worked with the UK government to expand immunisation programmes and access to contraceptives including expansion of the HPV programme to boys; and as Lead for MSD for Mothers (2012-2016) she launched and led the 500 million dollar commitment to global maternal health global initiative for the company. This included leveraging MSD’s business and scientific expertise to design, launch and execute 50 programmes in over 30 countries with 75 partners, including the world’s first development impact bond in healthcare. Priya brings a wealth of public health experience with a strong track record for advancing successful public health initiatives within both the private and public sectors. She has worked and travelled in more than 45 countries using the introduction of sustainable innovations to improve the health outcomes for underserved women and their families.

Immediately prior to joining MSD, she served as Director of Research and Innovation for the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health where she led the development and evaluation of healthcare innovations. She has contributed to various international technical committees and advisory councils for the World Health Organization and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded initiatives. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2012, Dr. Agrawal’s contributions to global health were recognized with the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award for Public Health Professionals and she was recently honoured with the Forbes Impact Award in Advocacy.

Priya trained as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in the NHS,UK and received her degrees in medicine from the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, and graduated with a master’s from the Harvard School of Public Health on a Fulbright Scholarship. Her PhD at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine centred around the development and evaluation of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist.

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