Ali Mehdi

Universal Health Coverage Advisor

Global Health Policy and Systems Expert

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Brief profile

I am the Founder of UHC360 - an initiative to analyze and accelerate universal health coverage in low and middle income countries.

Over the past 18 years, my research has focused on 12 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America - involving 1,000+ health sector stakeholder interactions in these countries.

My work has contributed to India's policymaking vis-a-vis the G20, preventive health, non-communicable diseases, pharmaceutical and food regulation, etc. I have also collaborated with renowned global health scholars to develop policy briefs for G7 and G20 leaders.

Career highlights

World Health Summit

Spoke at the inaugural session of its North America regional meeting (8-9 May 2017 in Montréal, Canada).

Global call to action on antimicrobial resistance

Organized by Governments of UK, Ghana and Thailand, United Nations Foundation, the World Bank and Wellcome Trust (19-20 November 2018 in Accra, Ghana). I was listed in the Ghana Declaration as one of the six participants supporting it.

G7 & G20

Collaborated with some of the most distinguished global health scholars to develop policy briefs for G7 and G20 leaders in 2017, 2021, 2022. Conducted research to help development of India’s G20 health position in 2018 and 2019.

India's health policies and programs

Have contributed to evidence-based policymaking in India vis-a-vis the G20, preventive health, noncommunicable diseases, health sector regulation, etc.

Health of the nation

Co-edited a volume, Health of the nation: Perspectives for a new India (Oxford University Press, 2020), with 25 chapters by 46 global health experts offering critical analysis and recommendations for the improvement of India's health status.

Health and social justice

"The only health researcher in India who has done and published remarkable research at the intersection of health and theories of social justice" (Dr Peter Taylor, Director of Research, IDS, UK). A shot of justice (Oxford University Press, 2019).


Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

PhD in Health Policy (2008-15)

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

MA in Social Sciences (2004-06)



Founder (2023-) - www.uhc360.com

Analyzing and accelerating universal health coverage in low and middle income countries.

Sambodhi Research and Communications Private Limited

Deputy Vice President (2023)

Contributed to health policy and systems research.

Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, India

Health Policy and Systems Researcher (2007-09, 2012-22)

Developed and led several research projects, funded by the Governments of UK, Japan and India, WHO, ILO, World Bank, industry, etc.

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Thailand

Intern (2005)

Prepared a report on factors affecting fertility trends in selected countries of Asia.


Mehdi, Ali, Priyanka Tomar and Divya Chaudhry. 2023. “Health surveys in India: Review and recommendations”. Global Development Press, London.

Mehdi, Ali. 2023. “Universal health coverage in Meghalaya”. Report of a capacity-building program for Meghalaya government health officials (26-27 June 2023, Shillong). UHC360 and Sambodhi.

Mehdi, Ali (ed.). 2022. “Tracking and tackling Covid-19: Global perspectives”. Global Development Press, London.

Mehdi, Ali. 2022. ‘Triple-duty actions to tackle a potential Covid-19-malnutrition syndemic in India’. In: Mehdi, Ali (ed.). 2022. “Tracking and tackling Covid-19: Global perspectives”. Global Development Press, London.

Taylor, Peter, Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Melissa Leach, Hayley MacGregor, Ali Mehdi and Mei Lin Fung. 2022. ‘Research, evidence and learning: The need for a global infrastructure’. A T7 policy brief for 2022 German G7 Presidency.

Borgonovi, Elio, Chiara Cadeddu, Marta Dassù, Fabrizio Landi, Ali Mehdi, Sabrina Montante, Sunisha Neupane, Mario Raviglione, Walter Ricciardi, Niccolò Serri and Peter Taylor. 2021. ‘Health systems: Strengthening preparedness’. A T20 policy brief for 2021 Italian G20 Presidency. https://bit.ly/2W38Vrs

Mehdi, Ali and Irudaya Rajan (eds.). 2020. “Health of the nation: Perspectives for a new India”. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. https://bit.ly/3xgQA7V

Mehdi, Ali. 2019. ‘Responsibility for health’. In: Mehdi, Ali and Irudaya Rajan (eds). “Health of the nation: Perspectives for a new India”. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Mehdi, Ali. 2019. “A shot of justice: Priority-setting for addressing child mortality”. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. https://bit.ly/45D4p0E

Mehdi, Ali, Divya Chaudhry and Priyanka Tomar. 2019. “Freedoms, fragility and job creation: Perspectives from Jammu and Kashmir, India”. Springer, Singapore. https://bit.ly/34qYv4G

Mehdi, Ali. 2018. ‘Human capital is the key’. The Times of India (16 October 2018). https://bit.ly/2VkkO7Z

Neupane, Sunisha, Zoe Boutilier, Ilona Kickbusch, Ali Mehdi, Miriam Sangiorgio, Michaela Told and Peter Taylor. 2018. ‘SDGs, health and the G20: A vision for public policy’. Economics 12(35): 1-12. https://bit.ly/34uWmow

Mongia, Rahul, Deepmala Pokhriyal, Seema Rao and Ali Mehdi. 2017. “Challenges and prospects for clinical trials in India: A regulatory perspective”. Academic Foundation, New Delhi. https://bit.ly/39Y6zuP

Wattal, Vasudha, Pallavi Joshi, Aashna Arora and Ali Mehdi. 2017. “International cooperation for registration of medicines: Opportunities for India”. Academic Foundation, New Delhi. https://bit.ly/34txfTa

Boutilier, Zoe, Ilona Kickbusch, Ali Mehdi, Sunisha Neupane, Miriam Sangiorgio, Peter Taylor and Michaela Told. 2017. ‘SDGs and health: A vision for public policy’. A T20 policy brief for 2017 German G20 Presidency. https://bit.ly/2HwFCGF

Mehdi, Ali. 2016. ‘The Indian health challenge: What ails India’s workers’. The Financial Express (10 October 2016). https://bit.ly/2xlpAu4

Mehdi, Ali. 2016. ‘Chronic disease in India: An impending economic crisis and evolving resolve’. Global Heart 11(4): 417-419. https://bit.ly/39ZwwKO

Mehdi, Ali, Divya Chaudhry, Priyanka Tomar and Pallavi Joshi. 2016. ‘Prevention of chronic diseases: Reorienting primary health systems in India’. ICRIER working paper # 321. https://bit.ly/2TBNhth * ICRIER HPI policy brief # 3. https://bit.ly/2UpVbpr

Mishra, Udaya, Irudaya Rajan, William Joe and Ali Mehdi. 2016. ‘Surveillance of chronic diseases: Challenges and strategies for India’. ICRIER working paper # 322. https://bit.ly/3gSSk4f * ICRIER HPI policy brief # 4. https://bit.ly/3qNbfO9

Mehdi, Ali and Divya Chaudhry. 2015. ‘Human capital potential of India’s future workforce’. ICRIER working paper # 308. https://bit.ly/2V6tkv3

Mehdi, Ali. 2014. ‘Health and healthcare system’. In: Kundu, Amitabh (ed.). “Post-Sachar evaluation committee report”. Government of India. https://bit.ly/3a1KMSY

Preet, Sirjjan, Samidha Sapra and Ali Mehdi. 2014. “Articulating a vision for a progressive BRICS Development Bank”. ICRIER and OXFAM, New Delhi. https://bit.ly/375LsYn

Vellakkal, Sukumar, Shikha Juyal and Ali Mehdi. 2010. ‘Healthcare delivery and stakeholders’ satisfaction under social health insurance schemes in India’. ICRIER working paper # 252. https://bit.ly/2xoPEnY

Chadha, Alka, Ali Mehdi and Garima Malik. 2008. ‘Preventive health care and Indian industry: Roles and responsibilities’. Journal of Health Studies 1(1): 24-45. https://bit.ly/2K2uSx7

Chadha, Alka, Ali Mehdi and Garima Malik. 2007. ‘Impact of preventive health care on Indian industry and economy’. ICRIER working paper # 198. https://bit.ly/2QJvOu3



Organizer. Covid-19 global best practices: Lessons for and from India. Webinar series. April-December 2021. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), India; Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Germany.

Webinar 1: Tracking Covid-19: Public health and socioeconomic surveillance. https://bit.ly/3w8OVC5

Webinar 2: Tackling Covid-19: Public health and socioeconomic strategies. https://bit.ly/3XaSYtI

Webinar 3: People, planet, prosperity: Rebuilding differently. https://bit.ly/3iGdHqo

Chair. Deepening health sector cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region. Bay of Bengal Economic Dialogue 2021. 10 February 2021. South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), Bangladesh; Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India; Pathfinder Foundation, Sri Lanka; Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), Nepal; Centre for Research on Bhutanese Society (CRBS), Bhutan. https://bit.ly/3QKjM1t

Presenter. Session on health and economic growth. 21st annual Neemrana conference. 15 December 2019, Neemrana (India). National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), USA; National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), India; ICRIER.

Participant. Australia and India: Public health research excellence. Roundtable with Australian Education Minister and Vice-Chancellors of several leading Australian universities. 20 November 2019, Gurgaon (India). Australian High Commission in New Delhi; Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), India.

Speaker. Counterfeiting landscape in India: Role of government and industry in curbing counterfeit menace. 3rd leadership summit on anti-counterfeiting and brand protection. 7 November 2019, New Delhi. Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA), India; Messe Frankfurt, Germany.

Invited lecture. Public health surveillance. 22 August 2019, New Delhi. South Asian University, India.

Session chair. Improving global health for economic growth. 11th annual G20 conference. 30-31 May 2019, New Delhi. G20 Secretariat, Japan; Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Japan; Ford Foundation, USA; International Monetary Fund (IMF), USA; ICRIER.

Session chair. Thematic session on health (SDG 3). Seminar on Japan-India partnership for achieving Sustainable Development Goals. 15 March 2019, New Delhi. Embassy of Japan in India; ICRIER.

Participant. From labour to leadership: Investing in children. Raisina Dialogue 2019. 8-10 January 2019, New Delhi. Government of India; Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India.

Participant. Call to action on antimicrobial resistance. 19-20 November 2018, Accra (Ghana). Governments of the United Kingdom, Thailand and Ghana; Wellcome Trust, UK; United Nations Foundation, USA; World Bank, USA.

Moderator. The Indian healthcare landscape: Challenges and opportunities. Thought leaders’ policy dialogue on health, trade and innovation. 11 October 2018, Mumbai. Geneva Network, Switzerland.

Participant. Meeting of global health policy think tanks and academic institutions. 4-5 December 2017, Geneva. The Geneva Graduate Institute, Switzerland; International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

Discussant. Distribution of disease burden and epidemiological transition in Indian states: 1995-2014. Conference on experiences and challenges in measuring income, inequality and poverty in South Asia. 23-25 November 2017, New Delhi. International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW), Canada; ICRIER.

Participant. EAT Asia-Pacific food forum. 30-31 October 2017, Jakarta. Ministry of Health, Indonesia; EAT Foundation, Norway.

Participant. Global solutions for G20: The Think 20 Summit. 28-31 May 2017, Berlin. Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ); Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IFW); Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Germany.

Presenter. World Health Summit regional meeting - North America. 8-9 May 2017, Montréal. Université de Montréal; Montréal Clinical Research Institute, Canada.

Participant. Health focused South Asian consultation meeting with policy research institutions. 5 December 2016, Islamabad. IDRC; Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Pakistan.

Participant. High-level kickoff conference for the Think 20 (T20) process under German Presidency. 30 November-2 December 2016, Berlin. BMZ; IFW; DIE.

Participant. Chronic diseases: Borderless. XIII AMNET international conference on chronic diseases. 9-11 November 2016, Las Cruces (USA). Americas' Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance (AMNET); New Mexico State University, USA.

Presenter. Jobs and development conference. 2-3 November 2016, Washington, DC. World Bank, USA; University of Cape Town, South Africa; Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Hong Kong; Institute for Structural Research (IBS), Poland; Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA); ICRIER.

Organizer and presenter. International seminar on tackling chronic diseases in India. 23 May 2016, New Delhi. ICRIER. https://bit.ly/3GZev2N

Presenter. International conference on jobs for development: Creating jobs in South Asia. 3-4 December 2015, New Delhi. ICRIER; World Bank.

Session chair. ADBI special session: Urbanization, income inequality and health inequity. 7th annual G20 conference. 14-15 September 2015, New Delhi. IMF; World Bank; ADBI; KAS; ICRIER.

Organizer. International conference on jobs for development: Challenges and solutions. 1-2 December 2014, New Delhi. ICRIER; World Bank. https://bit.ly/3kck9pl

Participant. 14th annual global development conference. 19-21 June 2013, Manila. Global Development Network (GDN), India.

Presenter. International conference on decentralization and its discontents: Recalibrating public service delivery in Asia. 17-18 November 2011, Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong.

Presenter. 21st European conference on modern South Asian studies. 26-29 July 2010, Bonn. European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS); University of Bonn; Foundation for International Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn, Germany.

Participant. International next generation leaders' program. 13-20 May 2008, Seoul. Korea Foundation, Republic of Korea.


Presenter. Covid-19 and the responsibility for health. Corona pandemic and Sustainable Development Goals: Impact, responses and prospects. 18-21 September 2021, Udaipur. KAS. https://bit.ly/3GZ9Uh3

Presenter. World Population Day: Covid-19, migrants and health. 11 July 2021. The International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD).

Podcast. Interaction with Avnie Garg from IIM-Ahmedabad on "A shot of justice". 21 March 2021. Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA). https://bit.ly/3GBvRkR

Panelist. ISPP policy relay: One year of Covid-19 and India's vaccination strategy. 21 March 2021. Indian School of Public Policy (ISSP). https://bit.ly/3XalCei

Presenter. Economic fallout of Covid-19 in India. 1 May 2020. ICRIER. https://bit.ly/3CO1t5U

Invited Lecture. Faculty development programme on research gaps in economics - Issues and data sets. 2 May 2019, New Delhi. Hansraj College, University of Delhi.

Session Chair. Session on SDG 3. National symposium on Sustainable Development Goals: Prospects and challenges. 20 April 2019, New Delhi. Jamia Millia Islamia; Institute of Policy Studies and Advocacy.

Presenter. Consultation for developing a national framework for noncommunicable disease (NCD) surveillance. 28 March 2019, Bengaluru. National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Moderator. Innovation performance in India today. Unlocking India’s potential in biomedical science and innovation to improve health care in India and for the world. 4 August 2017, New Delhi. Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM); Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD); Indian Alliance of Patient Groups (IAPG).

Participant. The availability and quality of medical care in India. 20 March 2013, New Delhi. World Bank.

Participant. Beyond the MDGs: What development framework in 2015?. 19 March 2013, New Delhi. GDN.

Author of background paper. Rethinking development. 15-16 March 2013, New Delhi. OXFAM; World Development Forum (WDF).

Participant. The future we want: Global post-2015 development agenda. 22 February 2013, New Delhi. United Nations; Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Keynote speaker. Early health summit. 25-26 September 2008, Bangalore. GE Healthcare.

Keynote speaker. Early health summit. 25 September 2007, New Delhi. GE Healthcare.