Alumni Spotlight: Bhargav Krishna, DrPH ’21

Bhargav Krishna
Bhargav Krishna, DrPH ’21

With 83 graduates since its inception in 2014, the DrPH Program has developed an illustrious, talented group of public health professionals who have taken their DrPH degree and have become public health leaders.

We recently reached out to Bhargav Krishna, DrPH ’21, to find out where his public health career has taken him and the current work he is doing!

  • Where are you currently located?

Bhargav: For my doctoral thesis work, I returned home to Delhi, India, which is where I continue to live and work.

  • Where are you currently working and a brief description of your job?

Bhargav: I am a Fellow at the Center for Policy Research (CPR), a think tank based out of Delhi. At CPR, I am extending the work carried out in my doctoral thesis into new areas of epidemiology with relevance to air quality and climate policy. I also contribute to broader environmental policy work. I have also been teaching health policy to graduate students of Public Policy as a Visiting Faculty member at Azim Premji University in Bangalore, India.

  • The 4 pillars of the DrPH Program are leadership, management, communication, and innovative thinking. Which of the pillars (if any) do you use most in your new position and how did the program prepare you for it?

Bhargav: The program’s focus on the four pillars prepared me well for the role I’m currently in as it requires a combination of high-quality research and interfacing with policymakers. Air pollution and climate change are classic examples of adaptive challenges and addressing them require going beyond technical solutions. Embedding an approach focused on evidence-informed policymaking requires engaging all four of the pillars, with slightly more emphasis on innovation and leadership.

  • If you could do things all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? Why? What would you change?

Bhargav: The DrPH experience was transformative for me in more than one way. The program’s interdisciplinary approach aligned closely with my goals, and the centrality of the four pillars really aided me in understanding my own approach to my work and how to strengthen it to be more effective as a leader. It also allowed me the space to grow as an individual in ways I hadn’t imagined a doctoral program could. I was asked during my initial interview for the programme whether I should be pursuing a PhD instead, and I was certain that the DrPH would set me up for a much wider set of career possibilities on graduation (e.g. academia, non-profit, think tank, etc.). I’m sure of that now and am glad I chose this program.  

  • Is there any work/document/article that you are currently working on that you’d like to promote? Our current students would love to find out what our alumni are currently working on. 

Bhargav: The first piece of work from my thesis was published a couple of months ago. In it, I looked at the effect of short-term exposures to air pollution and how it affected rates of death in Delhi. The results were startling and are available open access here. I’ve also been doing a series of articles and webinars more recently on the World Health Organization’s updated guidelines for ambient air quality. One of the opinion pieces I wrote with a colleague for a major Indian newspaper is available here. You can also follow me on Twitter @bhargavkrishna to stay in touch.

If you would like to connect with Bhargav Krishna, please visit his LinkedIn profile here.