Shama Karkal

Shama Karkal

CEO, Swasti, & Domain Specialist Lead, #COVIDActionCollab

Shama has been CEO, Swasti since April 2017 and drives strategic direction and governance. She also oversees its flagship Invest for Wellness” initiative, a system-innovation in primary health that combines health and wealth interventions and focuses on wellness for the poor in an affordable, quality-assured and scalable way. Financing for health, with a focus on people and how they navigate health systems is a key component of the initiative. Shama represents Swasti at the Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and has been the Chair of the Steering Committee since September 2018. She has been with Swasti since 2006 and while have worked on a range of thematic issues, her core expertise has been working on community system strengthening with a focus on marginalized communities (women in sex work, LGBTQAI, urban and rural poor, factory workers), where people and their organisations work with a range of providers (health, justice, finances, etc) to achieve well-being, individually and collectively. At #COVIDActionCollab, she leads the Domain Specialist Team, involved in the development, customization and implementation of interventions for the specific needs of vulnerable communities that the collaborative partners work with. Shama has worked closely with urban and rural communities in India on health and social development since 1996. She earned her Masters Degree from the School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA, with a concentration in management and community organizing. Her bachelor’s degree is in Sociology, English Literature and Philosophy. Her recent courses have been in Strategic Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School (2017) and Public Policy from Takshashila Institution (2019)

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