Council Commentary

Population Council Fellow: Sohail Agha

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Dr. Sohail Agha’s academic pursuits led him to a doctoral program in Population Dynamics at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. During this time, he studied with public health pioneer Prof. Henry Mosely, a former Population Council Associate, who developed the framework for child survival programs in Indonesia and Kenya.

While working on his dissertation, which examined how social inequity impacted infant mortality in Pakistan, Dr. Agha was awarded a Social Science Fellowship from the Population Council. The fellowship, based on academic excellence and prospective contributions to the field of population science, offered promising, early career scholars an opportunity to advance their research. Dr. Agha credits the fellowship with enabling him to deepen his research on socio-economic inequities in life opportunities for children in low-income countries, and ultimately influencing his career path.  

Dr. Agha spent the next 20 years overseeing the design and implementation of evidence-based public health interventions in HIV and AIDS, family planning, reproductive health, and maternal and child health in low-and middle-income countries, including his home country of Pakistan.

In 2015, he returned to the US to join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as a Senior Program Officer, incorporating social and behavior change models into the Foundation’s program strategies. Today, Dr. Agha continues his work with BMGF as an independent consultant with the Gender Equality team, providing strategic planning and technical support to reduce inequities in opportunities for adolescent girls. 


Meet our Fellows: Population Council Fellowship Programs: Growing Generations of Scientists and Researchers