Dr. Priya Agrawal is Executive Director of Merck/MSD for Mothers – MSD’s 500 million dollar, ten-year commitment to ending preventable maternal mortality (MSD is known as Merck inside the United States & Canada). She is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist and global women’s health expert.
Dr. Agrawal previously served as Director of Research and Development for the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she led the implementation research agenda and supported the development and evaluation of healthcare innovations. She continues as Visiting Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health. She was Obstetric Lead on the World Health Organization’s Safe Childbirth Checklist Program in India, working closely with Dr. Atul Gawande and Medical Director of Jacaranda Health, Kenya – a social enterprise focused on delivering high quality, affordable maternal and child health services in the slums of Nairobi – leveraging process innovation. She started her public health work in Nigeria with the introduction of simpler, one-stop shop cervical cancer screening programs delivered by nurses. She has worked and traveled in more than 45 countries using the introduction of simple and sustainable innovations to improve the health outcomes for underserved women and their families.
After receiving her degrees in medicine from the University of Cambridge and Oxford, she graduated with a master’s from the Harvard School of Public Health on a Fulbright Scholarship, and is finishing her Ph.D. at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2012, Dr. Agrawal’s contributions to global women’s health were recognized with the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award for Public Health Professionals. She is a strong believer in iterative design and frugal innovation to drive the quality and value agenda and ‘paying-it-forward’ by mentoring the professionals of the future.