Rajesh Ramesh Panjabi

Rajesh Ramesh Panjabi
Assistant Professor Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

Harvard Medical School and the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Panjabi grew up in Liberia and fled Liberia’s civil war with his family when he was nine years old. He returned to Liberia as a medical student and in 2007, where he co-founded Last Mile Health, a non-profit organization partnering with governments to invest in teams of community and frontline health workers who extend the reach of primary health care to the world’s most remote communities. Last Mile Health and a Global Faculty Network are building the Community Health Academy (led by Executive Director Magnus Conteh), a global platform leveraging the power of digital technology to support countries to modernize the training of community health workers and health systems leaders.

Panjabi has worked on rural community-based primary health care systems in Alaska, Liberia, and Afghanistan. Panjabi 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. Panjabi has authored or co-authored over 50 publications. 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’s forthcoming book, "The Last Mile: How to Get Healthcare to the Places that Need it Most," co-authored with Dr. Prabhjot Singh, will focus on what health workers in remote rural communities can teach us about building health care systems that ensure no patient is out of reach.

For his work on building rural and community-based primary health care systems, Panjabi 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 also been listed as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune. Panjabi is a recipient of the TED Prize, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and is a Schwab Social Entrepreneur with the World Economic Forum. Panjabi 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 of Public Health.