Dr. Karima Ladhani is a maternal and child health champion, social entrepreneur, and policy expert. She is committed to improving the lives of women and newborns around the world and is particularly passionate about the intersection of social entrepreneurship, international development, and human-centered design to create equitable interventions for populations in need. Dr. Ladhani is the Founder & CEO of Barakat Bundle, a non-profit that creates life-saving bundles for mothers and newborns in South Asia, and Giving Cradle, a social enterprise that creates safe, sustainable maternal & newborn products that give back.
In this role, Dr. Ladhani leads a team of 10 women across four countries to train community health workers, distribute lifesaving bundles, and provide quality pre- and post-partum health care for families in need. She has received numerous awards including the Top 50 South Asian Founders to Watch, Aspen Ideas Festival Global Voices Scholar, Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business Award, Harvard Business School New Venture Award, LinkedIn For Good Award, and WeWork Creator Award. Johnson & Johnson named her one of six “big thinkers poised to reshape healthcare for future generations.”
Dr. Ladhani is a Visiting Scientist at Harvard University where she works with government ministers in developing countries to inform human development policy and investment priorities as part of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program. She previously served as Director of Programs and Research. Across these positions, Dr. Ladhani supports policymaking for more than 60 Ministers of Health, Education, Gender, Youth, and Finance from over 30 countries around the world.
In an entrepreneurial and leadership capacity, Dr. Ladhani serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University where she guides student entrepreneurs in growing their ideas with a particular focus on social entrepreneurship. In addition, she mentors African female entrepreneurs aiming to improve sexual and reproductive health on the continent as part of the Next Health Accelerator; supports non-profits from India, Morocco, and the USA looking to advance digital equity in health at the Aspen Digital Equity Accelerator; and provides strategic oversight as a Board Member at Eco.Logic Programs to motivate tangible action amongst young adults to improve planetary health. Previously, Dr. Ladhani served as a Health Innovation Researcher under Dr. Anne CC Lee at the Global Newborn Health Lab at Brigham & Women’s Hospital where she was instrumental in developing a jaundice detection device for low resource countries and an early mobile application to aid community health workers in identifying and managing small for gestational age newborns in Bangladesh.
As a health data consultant at Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya, she audited local & national data collection methodologies & made recommendations to increase accuracy & completeness of data in Kenya’s National Health Information System. Dr. Ladhani holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a Master of Public Health and a Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard University.
The inaugural 40 under 40 cohort represents the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists, intellectual provocateurs, authors, and directors who inspire and catalyze us all to a more just and equitable world.