Director of the Ethnicity and Health Unit, Imperial College London, UK
Professor Mala Rao OBE MSc MBBS FFPH PhD HonFFSRH HonFSoPHE HonFRCPCH is Director of the Ethnicity and Health Unit at Imperial College London and former Medical Adviser to NHS England’s Workforce Race Equality Strategy. She has recently been appointed chair of the Expert group on the Environmental Determinants of Climate change and Health, WHO S East Asia Region. Her career has spanned public health practice, policy and research in the UK and global arenas. Her most significant achievements have been in workforce development for health improvement, health systems strengthening and environmental health. Deeply committed to addressing health inequalities, her research impacts have ranged from improving social support to young army families in the UK in the 1980s to improved health care for millions in some of the poorest states in India. Mala has campaigned against racism in the NHS throughout her career. Her review of wellbeing in Black and Minority Ethnic populations in England was launched at the House of Lords in 2014 and influenced the establishment of the NHSE Workforce Race Equality Strategic Advisory Group. As Medical Adviser to the Strategy, she lead the development of the Medical Workforce Race Equality Standard, a ‘world first’ in monitoring racism and discrimination across the medical workforce and has recently launched the first comprehensive guide to induction for international medical graduates recruited to the NHS. Mala is also a recognised champion of climate change action, safe water and sanitation and gender equity. She is Vice Chair of WaterAid UK and honorary adviser to other charitable organisations.