Rajesh Panjabi

Beck Visiting Social Innovator

Dr. Raj Panjabi is Co-Founder of Last Mile Health. He also serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Raj has served as Technical Advisor to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her role as Co-Chair, alongside former Prime Minister Helen Clark, of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response at the World Health Organization. Raj grew up in Liberia and fled Liberia’s civil war with his family when he was nine years old, becoming a refugee in the United States of America. He returned to Liberia as a medical student and then in 2007 co-founded Last Mile Health, a non-profit organization working to save lives in the world’s most remote communities, and served for 14 years as CEO.

Raj has authored or co-authored over 50 publications. Panjabi has worked on rural community-based primary health care systems in Alaska, Africa, and Afghanistan. Raj is a Gavi Champion, member of the International Advisory Group for Frontlines First at the Global Financing Facility, advisor to the Community Health Roadmap, and a member of the Community Health Worker Hub at the World Health Organization, where he served on the External Review Group for the WHO’s guidelines on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programs. He has chaired a global study with the Gates Ventures and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation investigating lessons learned from exemplar community-based health care programs.

Raj was named by TIME as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and one of the 50 Most Influential People in Healthcare. He has been listed as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune. Panjabi is a recipient of the TED Prize, Clinton Global Citizen Award, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and is a Schwab Social Entrepreneur at the World Economic Forum. In 2017, the Government of Liberia recognized Raj with one of Liberia’s highest civilian honors: Distinction of Knight Commander of the Most Venerable Order of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia.

Raj has served as a Beck Visiting Social Innovator at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and primary care at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School.