Naveen Rao

Managing Director

The Rockefeller Foundation

United States of America

Dr. Naveen Rao joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2018 as Managing Director for Health. In this role, he advances innovative strategies with the goal of bending the curve on country achievement of SDG targets for health, starting with maternal and child mortality and universal health coverage. The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history in health—from eradicating hookworm in the American South, to creating the field of public health, to developing the yellow fever vaccine. Today, the Foundation’s goal in health is grown out of the recognition that there exists a unique opportunity to harness the power of data for community health. The Foundation’s Health initiative, under Dr. Rao’s leadership, aims to build an approach that enables scale of successful data-driven efforts—strengthening community health systems. The Rockefeller Foundation aims to lead the global effort for data-driven community health by convening the right global partners, driving innovation, engaging the private sector, and developing public goods and best practices. Our approach will integrate disparate data sources and generate actionable insights for decision makers—delivering the right intervention to the right population at the right time. Our goal is to save the lives of 6 million at-risk mothers and children over the next 10 years. Prior to joining The Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Rao held numerous leadership positions at Merck & Co., Inc from 1993 to 2018. His most recent position was Lead of Merck for Mothers, Merck’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to reduce maternal mortality around the world. In this capacity, Dr. Rao was responsible for leveraging the company’s science and business expertise to accelerate progress in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Dr. Rao is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was Associate Director of the Department of Medicine at Beekman Downtown Hospital and practiced Internal Medicine in New York City for 10 years prior to joining Merck in 1993

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