Meet Dr. Naveen Rao | Our Team Series

Meet Dr. Naveen Rao | Our Team Series



– My name is Naveen Rao. I'm a physician by training. My title at Rockefeller
Foundation is going to be Managing Director, Health, and Senior Advisor to the President. I come from a long family of doctors. All my role models were physicians. That is what I wanted to
do ever since I remember. I come from the private sector, I've been at Merck for 25 years, and in the private
sector, truly, we believe that the one ingredient that
makes things happen is urgency. And it's that sense of urgency
I want to bring to health, to Rockefeller, in the work we do because even as we speak,
mothers and children are dying and that is unacceptable. To get anything done, you need a vision, you need a roadmap and
then you need an execution. And for all of those aspects,
you need the right people. If you're in development
and you're on this side of the world, 99 miles are easy, but it's the last mile that's the hardest, and I always believe that that last mile which is the hardest for us is the easiest first mile
for the community to walk. If we can be there, help
them walk that first mile, provide them the skills,
formalize institutions, strengthen the health systems
platforms, help them walk that one mile and then get out of the way, that is what I'm hoping we can achieve. Partnerships is what's
gonna make things happen. These problems are too big
for any one sector to do it by themselves, but if we come together and we put that community in the middle, and we all work towards that, we have a chance to make things happen. My dream would be that health is not a birth lottery. My dream would be it didn't matter which side of the world you were born in. And by the way, you had
nothing to do about that birth. It was just you lucked
out on the birth lottery. But I don't think that should decide the quality of your life
and what you can achieve. If health is the basis for everything, then that basis should be
the right for everybody. What is most satisfying to me of what I do professionally
is this feeling when I put my head on the pillow at night that I played a little role, I
had a little something to do, I made the road a little easier for a mother or a child
somewhere in the world, who I might not know their name and they may never know my
name, but deep down I know I made a difference and
that's enough for me.

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