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Priya Agrawal, MA, MPH

Kenilworth, New Jersey, United States
Dr. Priya Agrawal was appointed to the newly created position of Chief Behavioral Science officer for Global Vaccines, effective February 1, 2021. Priya’s proven leadership and strong track record for advancing successful public health initiatives within both the private and public sectors makes her the ideal leader to assume this role.
With the ongoing pandemic, this new role represents an important next step towards expanding understanding of vaccines and vaccination, as hesitancy and mistrust continue to jeopardize decades of progress in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Priya is responsible for developing an enterprise-wide approach to restoring and sustaining vaccine uptake, bringing together experts to leverage data-driven insights, digital solutions, and partnerships to understand the drivers of vaccine hesitancy and support positive health-associated beliefs and behaviors.
Priya launched and led the global initiative Merck for Mothers - our 500 million dollar initiative focused on ensuring no woman dies while giving life - for four years (2012-2016). She then led the Vaccines and Women’s Health business unit in the UK (2016-2019), where her team supported the UK National Shingles Immunisation Program and transitioned the UK to a Gender-Neutral Vaccination National Immunization Program for HPV.
Priya most recently (2019-2021) was managing director for the South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa cluster (48 countries), where she has led the successful transformation of the South African organization including the spin-off and IPO of a leading Women’s Health company.
Prior to joining Merck, she served as Director of Research and Innovation for the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health where she led the development and evaluation of healthcare innovations. She was Obstetric Lead on the World Health Organization's Safe Childbirth Checklist Program with Dr Atul Gawande and medical director for Jacaranda Health, Kenya. She has worked and travelled in more than 45 countries using the introduction of sustainable innovations to improve the health outcomes for underserved women and their families.
Priya trained as an obstetrician and gynecologist in the UK. After receiving her degrees in medicine from the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford, she graduated with a master's from the Harvard School of Public Health on a Fulbright Scholarship. She is a board member of Pathfinder International and a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. In 2012, Priya's contributions to global health were recognized with the Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Award for Public Health Professionals and in 2015 she was honoured with the Forbes Impact Award in Advocacy.
Speaking In
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM (EDT)
Monday, June 14

Data and evidence are important – but in the era of alternative facts, they may not matter…