2021 Alumni Award for Social Impact
Anuradha Gupta is an outstanding leader in global health and social impact, whose dedication to improving the lives of people living in poverty engenders positive change at a local, national and international level.
Soon after graduating from UOW’s MBA program, Anuradha returned to her home country of India, determined to apply her skills to help the more than 350 million people facing extreme poverty. Over the ensuing two decades, she led large-scale, high impact public service projects, beginning with grassroots work in a province to identify opportunities for entrepreneurship, micro-finance and capacity-building and lift communities, particularly women, out of poverty and towards self-reliance.
Empowered by these extraordinary results, Anuradha took her efforts nationally, leading a diverse range of initiatives for improved nutritional, educational and health indices, benefiting current and future generations. Appointed Mission Director for India’s National Health Mission in 2012, she steered the world’s largest flagship public health program to improve access to affordable healthcare for one billion people living in poverty across the world’s second-most populous country.
Here she played a decisive role in turning the tide on public health in India, strengthening and integrating health systems and leading the globally acclaimed polio eradication program. The increased enrolment and retention of girls in schools, improved maternal health and education leading to reduced fertility rates, better child health and stabilisation of population growth, are among her many proud achievements.
Since 2015, Anuradha has been Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a Geneva-based public-private global health partnership working to increase immunisation access in low income nations. Under Anuradha’s dynamic leadership, Gavi is helping to vaccinate almost half the world’s children against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases, working with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank and a wide range of other partners across 73 nations. With Anuradha’s leadership over the past five years, the innovative organisation has consistently exceeded its targets, placed renewed focus on equity and gender equality and garnered global recognition, including the prestigious Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award in 2019. Today, Gavi is at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and vaccination in low and middle-income nations.
Anuradha’s social impact is amplified through her role in numerous influential forums, steering committees and reference groups – both within and representing India, and on a global scale. Her contribution has been widely recognised, and she has received the highest civilian award for public service from the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Prime Minister’s Award in Laos.
Chancellor, Anuradha Gupta has demonstrated boundless integrity, creativity and leadership to transform the lives of billions of disadvantaged people through improved health, social and economic opportunity. She is an inspiring example of the power of one individual to change the world.
It is an honour to present Anuradha Gupta for the Alumni Award for Social Impact.