Born in Kashmir, and raised by a physician father who was an ardent advocate of health equity, Junaid was exposed to the health disparities and inequalities that pervade health systems around the world at an early age. Growing up in a territory marred by political and economic conflicts provided him a unique perspective on living between nations, and lending a voice to the concerns of the most vulnerable and marginalized.
Junaid is currently a public health researcher at the Department of Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where his work focuses on disparities in surgical care (especially surgical oncology), international health policy, bioethics, and innovations in health care. During his medical school internship, he worked with Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and International Committee of the Red Cross in Dhaka at the infamous Savar building collapse providing emergency and essential surgical care as well as training allied health workers to build capacity through task-sharing--this experience exposed him to the global unmet need for affordable surgical and anesthetic care in low- and middle-income countries. He was awarded the Red Cross Medal and Bangladesh Worker's Party Medal for his service at Savar.
Soon after, he launched a non-profit organization that conducts social innovation research, provides medical assistance at natural or industrial disasters, and engages in surgical capacity-building in South Asian countries. At 26, he was selected as one of the youngest public intellectuals from Kashmir. After the 2014 Kashmir floods, he was invited to give a speech on public policy options that could help the regional government in mitigating the flood’s impact on infrastructure and reduce water-borne diseases.
Since 2017, he is a Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute Fellow--a joint venture of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School focusing on public leadership. In 2018, he was selected as a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute and SpotlightHealth Scholar at the Aspen Ideas Festival. He is a frequent speaker at global health policy forums and regularly contributes opinion articles and essays/blogs to major media organizations such as Scientific American, STAT News, Project Syndicate, and BMJ Opinion.