Born in the valley of Kashmir in northern India, and raised by a physician father who was an ardent advocate of health equity, Junaid was exposed to the impact of health disparities and inequalities that pervade health systems 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. Now as an immigrant, he is bringing attention to the needs of the underserved communities in the US.
He is currently a Senior Researcher in health care strategy at Harvard Business School, where he is examining how value-based health care strategy can transform care delivery and promote health equity. Specifically, he is studying the impact of diversity and inclusion in health care leadership, the application of value chains in care delivery, and examining how cost accounting methods can optimize health care resource utilization.
Junaid formerly managed complex nationally-funded research projects at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where his health services and health policy research focused on investigating health system factors that lead to racial disparities in cancer care, evaluating the economic impact of innovative medical technologies, and implementation of novel digital decision support tools into electronic medical records—especially for vulnerable patient communities.
Previously, he served as a Research Fellow at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His ongoing research in this domain includes studying global health colonialism, the impact of global inequities in technology development, understanding the role of bioethics in eliminating racial bias in artificial intelligence-based medical decision-making systems, and applying principles of behavioral economics in the delivery of health care. In medical ethics, he has introduced the concept of “Bioethical Agility” as a technical solution to optimize the development of machine learning-based health care applications.
His work in humanitarian initiatives started during his clinical internship, when he worked with Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and the 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 care in low- and middle-income countries. He was awarded the Volunteer Medal by Bangladesh Red Cross and by Bangladesh Worker's Party for his service at Savar. At 26, he was selected as one of the youngest public intellectuals from Kashmir. After the 2014 Kashmir floods, he delivered one of the first public policy presentations on how the regional government can mitigate the flood’s impact on infrastructure and reduce water-borne diseases. In 2020, he served as an Emerging Leaders Fellow at the United Nations Association of the United States and coordinated one of the first global lectures on systems-based public health response to COVID-19 and has served on pandemic response teams. Since 2021, he has been serving on the Working Group on Regulatory Considerations for Digital Health and Innovation at the World Health Organization.
Junaid received his medical doctorate as a SAARC Scholar, training in medicine and surgery. He subsequently earned his master's in public health (MPH) from Harvard University, studying global health policy and concentrating in Public Health Leadership. After his MPH, he completed a Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, studying medical ethics and legal medicine, and published his research work in the Hastings Center Report. At Harvard Medical School, he also completed graduate-level coursework in how to innovate in biomedicine. He has also been trained in Value-Based Health Care at Harvard Business School and completed an executive education program in financial management at the Value Institute for Health and Care of The University of Texas in Austin. He is currently enrolled in the Innovating from Design to Discovery (iD2D) at One Brave Idea initiative at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Since 2017, he has been a Harvard Graduate School Leadership Incubator 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 was chosen as a Spotlight Health Scholar for the Aspen Ideas Festival. In 2019, he received the STAT Wunderkind award. In 2021, he was named one of the 40 under 40 Leaders in Health by The National Minority Quality Forum. He has also received several awards for his academic work in health services and health policy research.
Junaid is a frequent keynote speaker on digital health (especially artificial intelligence applications in care delivery), innovations in global health, and health care reform. He has delivered keynote addresses at MIT Hacking Medicine, Aspen Ideas Festival, and HXD Conference. His academic writings have been published in prominent peer-reviewed journals, including The Lancet, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), Cancer, and the American Journal of Bioethics. His journalism work has been featured in prominent media outlets including NPR, Scientific American, The Hill, Devex, Project Syndicate, and The Boston Globe.