Naveen Rao

Managing Director, Health, Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Naveen Rao joined the Rockefeller Foundation in 2018 as Managing Director for health. In this role, he advances innovative strategies that contribute to healthy societies. The Rockefeller Foundation has a long history in health—from eradicating hookworm in the American South, to creating the field of public health, to developing the yellow fever vaccine. His mission to promote health, prevent disease and reduce health disparities is aligned with Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.

From 1993 to 2018, Dr. Rao held numerous leadership positions at Merck & Co., Inc. His most recent position was Lead, Merck for Mothers, Merck’s 10-year, $500 million initiative to reduce maternal mortality around the world. In this capacity, Dr. Rao was responsible for leveraging the company’s science and business expertise to accelerate progress in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Rao is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was Associate Director of the Department of Medicine at Beekman Downtown Hospital and practiced Internal Medicine in New York City for 10 years prior to joining Merck in 1993.

Dr. Rao is a member of the Board of Directors of GBC Health.