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Global Health Student is Kenya Bound, Awarded Aga Khan Foundation Canada Fellowship

Gautham Krishnaraj

Gautham Krishnaraj, MSc Global Health program candidate and recipient of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada International Youth Fellowship


August 3, 2017

Having recently been selected to receive the Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC)’s 2017-2018 International Youth Fellowship (International Development Management Stream), Gautham Krishnaraj is on track for a successful career in global health.

The soon-to be-graduate of the MSc Global Health program just defended his Master’s thesis on palliative care in humanitarian contexts, under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Schwartz and the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group. He now looks ahead to an eight-month placement in Mombasa, Kenya. “The fellowship is a truly unique and incredible opportunity, and represents AKFC’s immense dedication to the potential of young Canadian development professionals,” says Krishnaraj, who will be taking on the role of Project Officer at the Madrasa Early Childhood Program (MECP-K) – an organization that helps communities to establish, develop, and manage high quality early childhood education programs. Krishnaraj’s work will focus on the health and education of children 0-3 years old, as well as documentation and capacity-building activities with local schools and communities.

Since 1989, the prestigious AKFC Fellowship program has been training young Canadians to be leaders in global development. Fellows are given a rigorous three-week training in Ottawa, after which they are sent off to their placements; this year’s cohort have been paired with Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) partner agencies in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

”I think one of the most difficult things about this sector is getting your foot in the door," says Krishnaraj. "The AKDN is an incredible network full of passionate individuals that I feel lucky to be a part of. This experience will hopefully be a great way to put the skills and knowledge I’ve gained over the past year to use, and to kickstart my career.”

Krishnaraj was a 2016-2017 Royal Bank of Canada Students Leading Change Graduate Scholar, and recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Communicating Research, Faculty of Health Sciences Graduate Programs Award of Excellence, and Graduate Students Association Research Travel Award.