Keynote Speaker

Kavita Narayan

Ms. Kavita Narayan

FACHE: Senior Technical Advisor, Human Resources for Health (HRH), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India

As one of the youngest and first Indian Fellows of The American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and a Kamalnayan Bajan Aspen Fellow, Kavita Narayan has more than twenty-two years of combined experience as a hospital and health systems architect and thought leader in the United States and India. Kavita currently serves as Senior Technical Advisor for HRH, the National Human Resources for Health Cell, an internal think-tank for People for Health reforms that Kavita worked to establish in 2016 within the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Her relentless championing since her return to India for recognition and regulatory reform of Allied Professionals to enable a more equitable, efficient health system, has resulted in the passage of the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare professions Act 2021, with the goal to create local and global opportunities for 56+ types of healthcare professionals. Most recently in August 2023, the National Nursing and Midwifery Commission Act on which she worked on tirelessly since 2018, was passed in both houses of Parliament, ushering in much-awaited reforms in Nursing for several decades. 

In 2022, Kavita was instrumental in creating the blue print for implementing the Health Ministry’s vision of “Heal By India”, an outward looking approach to global workforce partnerships to achieve Universal Healthcare. She also led the technical thinking for Mission Karmayogi for the MoHFW and the Ministry launched its Annual Capacity Building Plan for roll out in June 2023. 

Her other critical policy contributions have been in the areas of skill development strategy for the Indian health sector, the establishment of the National Medical Commission, curriculum and policy decisions for behavioral health and several reforms planned in Nursing, among others. In 2018, under her technical leadership, India systematically quantified and reported its 7 million+ health workforce for the first time on the WHO platform, enabling a major favourable shift in the global labour outmigration policy. 

In addition to coordinating national capacity building efforts during the pandemic, Kavita served on the India chapter of the Lancet Commission on CoVID-19, showcasing India’s diverse health system innovations during this time. From rebuilding villages in Khardi, Maharashtra to Kerala’s flood-affected panchayat, working on nutrition, education and health in Gurgaon’s slums to building a hospital for rural Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, Kavita’s mission is to constantly enhance social impact by active personal grass roots engagement alongside large scale policy reform. In 2010, after the birth of her son Yaj, their family decided to move back to India after her stint as Chief Operating Officer for the Emory Healthcare and Hospital Corporation of America partnership venture. Kavita is also a professionally trained Indian classical vocalist and Bharatnatyam dancer, ardent spiritualist and yogini and an adventure enthusiast who enjoys trekking up Everest Base camp as much as jumping into the icy Ganges. She is married to Pradeep Parameswaran who heads Uber for the Asia Pacific region. Together, they strive to raise fourteen-year old Yaj and eleven-year old Yaagini as mindful, conscious and compassionate inhabitants of planet earth.