• Think Tank Co-Chair



A leader with passion and experience, who has worked for almost 30 years with diverse portfolios, leading and managing teams of different sizes, policy advocacy, strategy development and influencing and implementing programs in various countries in Asia, Africa. Caribbean, East Asia and Pacific. Has the skill and experience in finding creative solutions, pioneering innovative digital solutions, influencing scale and sustainability through an investment approach for public health programs. Experienced in working with and leading teams from diverse backgrounds in the UN system, academic setting, hospital and health care settings.


Dr. Sanjana Bhardwaj leads policy and advocacy work at the Gates Foundation related to family planning; maternal, newborn, and child health; nutrition; and primary health care systems. Her team works to develop and promote strategies that increase political commitment and resources devoted to these priorities, in collaboration with country-based foundation teams. Her team also builds partnerships that can speed up, expand, and sustain impact.


Before joining the foundation, Sanjana worked with the United Nations, leading efforts focused on child survival and development across Bangladesh, India, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, and South Africa. She also worked in academia, teaching and overseeing the development of a Master of Public Health degree course in health behavior at the University of the West Indies. Earlier, Sanjana supported the creation and establishment of a nonprofit focusing on public health management and innovative solutions and partnerships for public health in India.


Areas of interest cover reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and wellbeing, adolescent health, SRH, HIV, emergency health care, digital health, public health teaching and evidence-based policy advocacy and program design with an overarching interest in equitable and quality driven health systems. Considered a thought leader, innovator and solution seeker with proven expertise in working with senior levels in Government, forging partnerships, successful resource mobilization, nurturing networks and teams, focusing and delivering results. Her work has been published in peer reviewed journals and she is a recipient of service awards and certificates in recognition of her contributions.


Sanjana is a medical doctor and public health practitioner who has worked in clinical practice and as a primary health care physician in rural India. Sanjana earned her M.D. from Mumbai University in India and won a scholarship to earn her MPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.  She was elected, by Distinction, as a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in the UK.