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Anita Shankar, PhD, MS
Medical Anthropologist, Public Health Researcher
Dr. Shankar is a medical anthropologist and public health researcher with Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and the Center for Global Clean Air. She is also a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education. She has more than 20 years of experience in research and programs focused on women’s empowerment, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, community mobilization, and human resource capacity building.
While serving as faculty with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for nearly 20 years, she has lived in and/or worked at program field sites in countries including Nepal, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Bolivia. Her current research focuses on interventions that empower women through increasing their voice, decision-making and individual agency. She recently completed research in Kenya and Bolivia that demonstrated positive impacts of this empowerment training program to significantly increase business capacity, earned income, and enhanced well-being for women and men energy entrepreneurs. She is currently leading an effort to train female energy entrepreneurs globally through a program focused on building gender sensitive business skills, agency-based empowerment, and innovative leadership.
Dr. Shankar has directed several behavioral research studies in conjunction with BJ Medical College in Pune, India, and is co-investigator in a CDC grant to improve capacity of outreach workers working with HIV-positive women to increase the uptake of health services to prevent the transmission of HIV to their children.
Dr. Shankar has served as a consultant to NGOs, governments, and international organizations to improve health programming and monitor impacts. She is a review editor for EcoHealth, a new peer-reviewed journal focused on the co-relationship of environment and health.
Dr. Shankar earned her PhD in medical anthropology and MS in biology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and has a BS in microbiology from the University of Maryland, College Park.