Press Release

United Nations University Appoints Rajat Khosla As Next Director of Its Malaysia-based Institute, UNU-IIGH

Rajat Khosla will take up the post of Director of the UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) on 5 September 2022.

The United Nations University (UNU) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rajat Khosla as the next Director of its institute in Malaysia. Mr Khosla will take up the post of Director of the UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), based in Kuala Lumpur, on 5 September 2022.

UNU-IIGH, established in March 2007, generates policy-relevant analysis by applying a gender lens to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of health programmes. The institute also supports capacity development of regional decision-makers and stakeholders to engage effectively with global health challenges within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Mr Khosla comes to UNU from Amnesty International, where since 2020 he has been Senior Director of Research, Advocacy and Policy at the organisation’s International Secretariat in London. His responsibilities included guidance and management of programmes on Law and Policy; Research and Advocacy; and Crisis Response, Tech and Global Issues (e.g. climate change, health, social and economic justice, gender, racial justice, and migration).

Since 2020, Mr Khosla has contributed to UNU-IIGH as Principal Visiting Fellow.

“I’m pleased to welcome Mr Khosla to the UNU family. His two decades of expertise working at the intersection of global health, equity, and human rights will bring the excellent research work at UNU-IIGH to the next level ­– to the benefit of UNU globally”, said UNU Rector David Malone.

Flavia Bustreo, the Chair or of the International Advisory Board of the Institute added: “Mr. Khosla’s distinguished profile on human rights and equality issues in the global health realm, as evidenced by a strong publication record, his history of policy advisory roles, and his close relationships with a range of bilateral and multilateral donors and foundations will immensely benefit all actors in need for policy relevant advice on global health.”

Previously (2014–2020), Mr Khosla served as Human Rights Adviser with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. In that role, he led on research and normative work for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and human rights, in particular on women’s rights and issues related to sexual and reproductive health; guided countries and WHO regional offices on human rights, policy and legal analysis; represented WHO in high-level negotiations and processes related to human rights; and led policy work on the integration of women’s rights in humanitarian emergencies.

In 2018–2019, he was seconded to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, where he managed the global campaign on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and advised the High-Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner on policy issues.

Mr Khosla previously had worked with Amnesty International as a policy advisor on health, served in a variety of research and policy roles at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, the International Environmental Law Research Centre, and other organisations, and worked as an independent research and policy consultant for such organisations as UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA.

Mr Khosla holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex as well as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree and a Bachelor’s degree in commerce from Delhi University.

His current affiliations include serving as a member of the WHO Advisory Group on Gender Equality, Health Equity and Human Rights, and a member of the UNU-IIGH Gender and Health Hub High-level Advisory Committee.

He also is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre and an Adjunct Research Professor at the University of Southern California Institute on Inequalities in Global Health.

“I look forward to stepping into the role of UNU-IIGH Director. It represents a unique opportunity, at a critical time, to effect change through policy analysis, research and capacity building, and to contribute towards efforts to ensure health equity and justice and build a truly inclusive global health agenda which addresses gender and intersectional discrimination” said UNU-IIGH director-designate Rajat Khosla.

Rajat Khosla succeeds Pascale Allotey, who has served as UNU-IIGH Director since September 2017. Under Prof. Allotey’s excellent leadership, the Institute has developed into a dynamic and widely respected think tank on global public health and gender issues.

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Journalists who would like more information, or who wish to request an interview with incoming UNU-IIGH Director Rajat Khosla, may contact:

  • Anne Cortez, Programme Manager, Knowledge Management & Communications, UNU-IIGH,
  • Daniel Powell, Principal Communication Specialist, UNU Office of Communications, Tokyo,

About the United Nations University (UNU) 

UNU, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing problems of human survival, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers worldwide, UNU’s core mission is to generate research that makes a difference on the big issues and encourages the rethinking of existing policies and perspectives.

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