Introducing our New Chair of Global Health

Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury, an internationally-renowned educator and qualified physician trained in global health epidemiology, has been appointed chair of Global Health at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work (Stempel College) at Florida International University. Dr. Chowdhury will lead efforts in developing a Department of Global Health that will open doors to research and educational opportunities that address health disparities and improve health access for people worldwide.  

“I am very excited to join Stempel College to develop a new Department of Global Health in FIU. This new department’s vision will be to enable global health equity through fostering interdisciplinary science and integrative education (further reinforcing the “I” in FIU’s international portfolio),” said Dr. Chowdhury.   “We will achieve this vision by integrating our transnational networks and platforms as vehicles for world-class research and education (global integration), by mobilizing local expertise across FIU to innovate global lifesaving solutions (knowledge mobilization), and by harvesting global knowledge for local translation (glocalization).”  

Before joining Stempel College, Dr. Chowdhury worked as a professor of Global Public Health at the University of Exeter in England. Throughout this time, Dr. Chowdhury teamed up with Stempel College public health experts, participating in cross-collaboration research initiatives and events like this year’s COVID-19 Vaccines: A Global Experts’ Summit.   “Dr. Chowdhury brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Stempel College that will help us move the needle in the area of global health,” said Dr. Tomás R. Guilarte, dean of Stempel College.

“We’ve made tremendous progress through the Global Health Consortium under the leadership of Dr. Carlos Espinal, and together with Dr. Chowdhury’s vision, we will be able to take our work to the next level.”   Before embarking on his role at Exeter, Dr. Chowdhury worked at the University of Cambridge since 2008 and was promoted to reader/associate professor in Global Health at Cambridge in 2017. He currently serves as a country expert in the Global Burden of Disease initiative. In addition, he maintains adjunct roles as a professor at the University of Bern in Switzerland and Executive Director at the South Asian Centre for Non-Communicable Disease Research (CNCR) in Bangladesh.  

Dr. Chowdhury’s research interests focus on investigating how environmental, societal and biological factors may influence the risks and inequities of non-communicable disease worldwide. His scientific publications have received >60,000 citations (his current publication h-index is 66) and informed multiple global guidelines. His work has also received significant media attention, appearing in top-tier outlets like The New York Times, CNN and BBC. Dr. Chowdhury was elected a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology in 2021, a Fellow of the UK Royal Society for Public Health in 2011, and a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology in 2016. In 2013, he received the Bill Gates Senior Prize for contributions to global health.  

Dr. Chowdhury holds a doctoral degree in Public Health from the University of Cambridge, where he had the titles of Commonwealth Scholar and Gates Cambridge Scholar. Dr. Chowdhury also received advanced academic training in Global Health at the Harvard and Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health, in Global Nutritional Epidemiology at the Imperial College London, in Genetic Epidemiology at the Erasmus University Netherlands, and in Clinical Trials at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.