Unni Karunakara is writing his next chapter.
Born in India, Unni holds an MB, BS from Mangalore University in India, an MPH from Yale University, and a doctorate in public health from Johns Hopkins University. Until recently, Unni was International President of Médecins Sans Frontières.
“Even during my university days, I was interested in practicing medicine that was more social in nature. Medical humanitarian work allows me to work with some of the most vulnerable populations in the world and provide quality medical care where very little exists.”
Unni’s journey with Médecins Sans Frontières began over two decades ago when he set up a tuberculosis control programme in Ethiopia. His life was changed by what he saw. “It made it impossible for me to practise any other kind of medicine. The needs were immense.”
When I caught up with Unni for our interview, he was about to head off to the Democratic Republic of Congo to continue his work with Médecins Sans Frontières. In September, he will travel straight from the Congo to join the latest cohort of the THNK Executive Leadership Program in Amsterdam.