The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has elected Swati Piramal, M.P.H. ’92, to serve a six-year term as Overseer. Piramal joins Walter Clair, A.B. ’77, M.D. ’81, M.P.H. ’85, as one of only two HSPH alumni, and the only alumna from India, on the 30-member board. Also elected as Overseers were Scott A. Abell, A.B. ’82; James E. Johnson, A.B. ’83, J.D. ’86; Tracy P. Palandjian, A.B. ’93, M.B.A. ’97; and Kathryn A. Taylor, A.B. ’80.
Piramal has used her background in medicine, public health and business to change the trajectory of health care, education, and public policy in India. She is the director of Piramal Healthcare, a leading drug discovery company which aims to bring affordable medicines to reduce the burden of disease globally. As director of the Piramal Foundation, she helps promote health in rural India with mobile health services, women’s empowerment projects and supporting community education that create young leaders.
The first woman president of India’s Apex Chamber of Commerce in 90 years, she helped influence important public policies and governance. She is an adviser to India’s Prime Minister in science, technology and industrial policy and was awarded the 2012 Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards for distinguished contribution to the nation. She has helped organize faculty study programs, student internships including President Faust’s recent trip to India, in life sciences and business. Piramal earned her medical degree, an M.B.B.S, from Mumbai University in 1980 and her M.P.H. in international health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1992.