Obama names Indian American health researcher White House Fellow

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : President Barack Obama has appointed Anish Mahajan, an Indian-American internist and health services researcher, as one of the 15 persons to serve as White House Fellows this year.

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The 2009-2010 class of White House Fellows represents a diverse cross-section of professions including medicine, business, media, education, non-profit and state government, as well as two branches of the US military, the White House announced Thursday.

“We are thrilled that these exceptional men and women will be joining us here in Washington for the next year,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mahajan, 34, a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and a Master of Science in Health Services from the University of California, Los Angeles, “is committed to the ideal that health policy formulation should be informed by scientific evidence and stakeholder engagement,” the White House said.

“He has led innovative research collaborations between academic, government, and relevant stakeholder organizations on an array of domestic and international health policy issues.”

Mahajan has given presentations and published numerous peer-reviewed articles on topics including HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, the private sector response to the South African AIDS epidemic, high-deductible health plans, and adherence to medications for chronic illnesses.

His work has addressed health care challenges in the US, India, and South Africa and he has previously served as a consultant to The Ford Foundation and RAND Corporation.

Dedicated to public service, he is currently serving a 2-year term as a publicly elected council member on a City of Los Angeles neighbourhood council. He is Vice-Chair on the council’s Public Policy Committee.

Mahajan has received a B.A. in Public Policy and M.D. from Brown University. He also earned a M.P.H. in International Health from Harvard School of Public Health.

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has also served as a White House Fellow under a programme created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.”