Health Initiative/

Naveen Rao, MD

Senior Vice PresidentHealth Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Naveen Rao is the Senior Vice President of the Health Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation where he leads the Foundation’s efforts to shape the field of Climate and Health, transforming the world’s health systems to be more equitable, inclusive and resilient to climate change and improving the ability to predict, detect, and respond to climate-sensitive disease threats.

Dr. Rao previously led the Foundation’s Covid-19 pandemic efforts, including the Global Vaccination Initiative, which increased vaccination uptake in low and middle-income countries, as well as the Foundation’s Pandemic Prevention Initiative, which strengthened global pathogen surveillance and response around the world.

Dr. Rao joined The Rockefeller Foundation after a 25-year career with Merck & Co., Inc., where he most recently led Merck for Mothers, the company’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to reduce maternal mortality around the world. Prior to Merck, he was the Associate Director of the Department of Medicine at Beekman-Downtown Hospital and practiced Internal Medicine in New York City for 10 years.

Dr. Rao is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Authored Content

  • Dec 11 2020
    Perspective Health for All: Expanding Our Commitment to Equity During a Pandemic On December 12, advocates around the world are coming together to mark UHC Day, calling for equitable health systems that leave no one behind. Universal Health Coverage, or UHC, has long been a goal at The Rockefeller Foundation – we helped establish the first UHC Day in 2014, and are more committed than ever to […] Naveen Rao, MD, FACP
  • Jan 23 2020
    1:39
    Video Dr. Naveen Rao on Precision Public Health Three weeks into 2020, our team reflects on how we can continue to create #ImpactThroughInnovation. For Dr. Naveen Rao, Senior Vice President for our Health Initiative, it’s about harnessing data and data science for better health outcomes through Precision Public Health.
  • Nov 27 2019
    Perspective Transforming Women’s Health Will Take Heightened Awareness and 21st Century Innovation Last month, I had the opportunity to join a passionate panel of advocates and experts at the inaugural TIME 100 Health Summit, to discuss both the strategy and urgency needed to transform women’s health. I walked away with the overarching feeling that our ability to improve women’s health outcomes depends on our will to do […] Naveen Rao, MD, FACP
  • Sep 25 2019
    Perspective Precision Public Health: Leveraging Data to Unlock Health for All This week, as world leaders gather at the United Nations General Assembly to advance health for all, I can’t help but reflect on how far we’ve come, and how much we still must do. The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) movement – a movement that The Rockefeller Foundation championed from its inception – has seen unprecedented […] Naveen Rao, MD, FACP