Kezevino Aram

Kezevino Aram has served as President of Shanti Ashram since 2014. Shanti Ashram, founded in 1986 on Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Sarvodaya (progress for all), is an international center for learning, development and collaboration. It accompanies communities in their efforts to move out of poverty, address inequalities, build creative leaders and ensure sustained development. Today, Shanti Ashram serves over 70,000 vulnerable children across 100 villages in Tamil Nadu. In 2017, Dr. Aram founded the International Center for Child and Public Health (ICPH) on the 30th anniversary of Shanti Ashram. ICPH is an innovative model of integrating primary care with public health, where the best of global knowledge steers comprehensive interventions for children. Besides contributing to the public health discourse and policy at the national level, ICPH directly impacts the health outcomes of 20,000 vulnerable children. Dr. Aram was invited to serve on the ‘Experts Committee’ of the Government of Tamil Nadu in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic affected India. Her mandate was to advise on child health and child protection issues. In realizing this responsibility, she worked with the Ministry of Health, the Health Secretary, the Director of Health Services, and Public Health experts at WHO. Dr. Aram’s assessment of the impact of the pandemic on children shaped her policy response that subsequently led to the resuming of the Early Childhood Services and opening of over 54,000 Anganwadi centres in Tamil Nadu. Over the last two decades, Dr. Aram has worked with the Government of India to make several notable contributions to India’s Public Health landscape. Internationally, Dr. Aram has continued to leverage her global leadership positions for the common good. She was invited to serve on the World Economic Forum’s Advisory Committee on the Social Determinants of Health Platform. Dr. Aram also serves as Co-moderator and Executive Committee Member of Religions for Peace-International where she works closely with faith based organizations in 90 countries to advance Peace building efforts. Dr. Aram is a Board Member of KAICIID, and during the pandemic, was elected as Chairperson of this prestigious Inter-Governmental Organization for Interfaith Dialogue. Dr. Aram also serves as the Vice Chair of the Advisory Board of Arigatou International where she has collaborated to advance the interfaith collaboration to ensure wellbeing and progress of children worldwide. Dr. Aram is also a Trustee at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.  

Dr. Aram received her Master of Public Health degree from the School of Public Health, Harvard University, with a double major in child health and international health. She received her Medical Degree from the PSG Institute of Medical Sciences & Research and completed her special training in Paediatrics at the Masonic Medical Centre for Children in Coimbatore, India. Dr. Aram was awarded the 2021 Leadership Award in Public Health Practice by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - making her the first Indian to receive the award. Her other awards include distinctions from each of her alma maters; from Harvard University, Dr. Aram received the Albert Schweitzer Award for Commitment to Public Health Practice and the Dr. Fan Chin Memorial Award for Innovation in Child Health, from the PSG Group of Institutions she received the Distinguished Alumni Award, and from the Masonic Medical Centre she received the Best Junior Medical Officer award. Dr. Aram has also received the Dharma Chakra Award for contributions to Child Health and the Outstanding Young Indian Award. Dr. Aram is deeply committed to the Gandhian spirit and convenes many initiatives that focus on community cohesion and active peace building. Widely travelled, she speaks 8 Indian languages and loves music, reading, family time and interacting with children.