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Prof. Anita Raj | Social Sciences | Best Researcher Award

Professor and Executive Director at Tulane University and UC San Diego, United States

Dr. Anita Raj is an accomplished researcher with a wealth of expertise in epidemiology, qualitative assessment, and social and behavioral research methodologies. Her extensive academic background includes significant contributions to understanding the intersections of gender, social vulnerabilities, and health outcomes across various global contexts. Through her research, she explores complex issues such as reproductive health, gender inequities, and the impacts of social factors on health disparities. Dr. Raj is particularly noted for her adeptness in designing and implementing rigorous research studies that incorporate diverse methodologies and theoretical frameworks. Her work not only advances scientific knowledge but also informs evidence-based interventions aimed at improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations, including minorities and those affected by substance abuse. Dr. Raj’s commitment to applying research findings to policy and practice underscores her dedication to promoting health equity and social justice on a global scale.

Professional Profiles


Anita Raj holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology from Mississippi College, completed in 1991. She pursued further education at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where she earned a Master of Science (MS) in Psychology in 1995. She continued her academic journey at the same institution, completing her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology in 1996.

Professional Experience

Anita Raj, PhD, holds a prominent position in academia and public health, serving as Executive Director of the Newcomb Institute at Tulane University and the Nancy Reeves Dreux Endowed Professor at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine since 2023. She has been a Professor in Education Studies within the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, San Diego, where she also holds the Tata Chancellor Endowed Chair of Society and Health. With a tenure since 2017, Raj has played a pivotal role as the Founding Director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health at UCSD, underscoring her dedication to addressing gender disparities in health globally. Her career spans significant appointments at Boston University, including professorships in Medicine and Public Health, and various leadership roles in global health and gender equity initiatives. Raj’s extensive expertise encompasses research, teaching, and advocacy, focusing on reproductive, maternal, and child health, gender inequities, and social interventions for vulnerable populations.

Research Interest

Anita Raj, PhD, focuses her research on epidemiological and qualitative assessments of gendered, social, and cultural vulnerabilities affecting reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health globally. Her work delves into the etiology and public health impact of gender inequities, including early and child marriage, intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and son preference. Raj is committed to developing and evaluating social and behavioral interventions tailored to socially vulnerable groups such as minorities, substance users, and youth. She applies social and behavioral theories to measurement and evaluation research in cross-national settings, advocating for gender data and its translation into policy. Raj also investigates gender parity in academia and leadership within public health and medicine, aiming to enhance gender equity and quality of care through her scholarly endeavors.

Award and Honors

Dr. Anita Raj, a distinguished scholar with a PhD, has received numerous awards and honors for her pioneering contributions to public health and gender equity. Her accolades include the Outstanding Researcher Award from the Society for Research on Adolescence in 2023 and being elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2022. She was recognized for her exceptional work with the National Academy of Medicine in 2021 and received the Excellence in Global Health Award from the American Public Health Association in 2020. Dr. Raj’s career achievements also encompass being honored as a Distinguished Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in 2019 and receiving the Outstanding Achievement in Public Health award from the American Public Health Association in 2018. Her dedication to mentoring earned her the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring at the University of California, San Diego in 2016, and she was presented with the Global Leadership Award by the Center for Gender Equity and Health in 2015. These accolades reflect Dr. Raj’s profound impact on advancing gender equity and improving health outcomes on a global scale.

Research Skills

Dr. Anita Raj possesses a robust set of research skills honed through her extensive academic and professional journey. Her expertise spans epidemiology, qualitative assessment, and social and behavioral research methodologies. She excels in designing and implementing complex research studies across diverse national settings, focusing on reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health. Dr. Raj adeptly applies social and behavioral theories to measure and evaluate interventions, emphasizing gender equity and quality of care. Her proficiency extends to data analysis, including advanced statistical methods, and she has a keen ability to translate research findings into actionable policy recommendations. With a strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, Dr. Raj’s research skills are instrumental in addressing critical public health challenges and advocating for marginalized populations globally.


  1. Gender, power, and health: Modifiable factors and opportunities for intervention
    • Authors: Raj, A., Barr, E., Griffith, D.M.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Social Science and Medicine, 351, 116959
  2. The EMERGE framework to measure empowerment for health and development
    • Authors: Raj, A., Dey, A., Rao, N., Fotso, J.C., Lundgren, R.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Social Science and Medicine, 351, 116879
    • Citations: 1
  3. Examining the association between men’s gender equitable attitudes and contraceptive outcomes in rural Maharashtra, India
    • Authors: Ghule, M., Dixit, A., Johns, N.E., Saggurti, N., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Dialogues in Health, 4, 100168
  4. Assessing the impact of CHARM2, a family planning program on gender attitudes, intimate partner violence, reproductive coercion, and marital quality in India
    • Authors: Chatterji, S., Johns, N.E., Ghule, M., Battala, M., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: PLOS Global Public Health, 4(5), e0003220
  5. Climate and Gender: Association between Droughts and Intimate Partner Violence in India
    • Authors: Dehingia, N., McDougal, L., Silverman, J.G., Singh, A., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: American Journal of Epidemiology, 193(4), pp. 636–645
  6. “Nobody has written the book about what non-binary people should put forward in relationships”: Exploring gender equity in relationships of queer, trans, and non-monogamous young women and non-binary youth in British Columbia, Canada
    • Authors: Closson, K., Lee, G.Y., Osborne, Z., Leonce, I., Kaida, A., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Social Science and Medicine, 347, 116759
  7. Spousal Concordance in Attitudes Toward Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Its Association With Physical IPV Against Women: A Cross-Sectional Study Among Young Married Couples in Rural India
    • Authors: Begum, S., Battala, M., Chalmiers, M.A., Averbach, S., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Partner Abuse, 15(1), pp. 58–72
  8. Preliminary Validation of Two Brief Measures of Masculine and Feminine Honor Endorsement
    • Authors: Bock, J.E., Brown, R.P., Pomerantz, A.L., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Journal of Personality Assessment, 106(4), pp. 522–531
  9. Relationship impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions on young women and men in Durban and Soweto, South Africa
    • Authors: Closson, K., Zharima, C., Kuchena, T.M., Beksinska, M., Kaida, A., Raj, A.
    • Year: 2024
    • Journal: Culture, Health and Sexuality, 26(6), pp. 734–746
    • Citations: 1
  10. Is intimate partner violence declining in low-income and middle-income countries?
    • Authors: Raj, A.
    • Year: 2023
    • Journal: The Lancet Global Health, 11(12), pp. e1828–e1829


Anita Raj | Social Sciences | Best Researcher Award

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