Mursaleena Islam

Mursaleena Islam

Program Director, currently working in Bangladesh

Mursaleena Islam, PhD, is a program director and senior economist with over 20 years of experience in the US, Asia, and Africa, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Dr. Islam specializes in health financing (including immunization financing), strategic partnerships, policy analysis, and program design.

Dr. Islam works closely with country governments and private sector clients on financial sustainability, health sector policy, insurance, innovative health financing, and strategic planning. Currently, she provides strategic direction to a private sector incubator to transform a network of clinics into a financially viable social enterprise in Bangladesh, focusing on market access and innovative financing. Her recent roles include Chief of Party of USAID Sustainable Financing for HIV in Vietnam and Country Manager for USAID’s Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project in Bangladesh. She supported these countries to improve domestic financing for health, including policy engagement, resource mobilization and allocation, health insurance, and strategic planning and implementation.

Dr. Islam was the technical lead for health systems at the Gavi Secretariat in Geneva where she led the redesign of Gavi’s immunization financing approach with a systems strengthening focus and with performance based financing. She provided support to countries on resource allocation and program design. On the USAID-funded Health Systems 20/20 project, Dr. Islam managed and led the publication, Health Systems Assessment Approach: A How-To Manual. Assessments were conducted in over 25 countries using the manual. Dr. Islam has presented at conferences and facilitated multiple workshops.

Mursaleena Islam has a BSc in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, her MA in economics from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, USA, and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

“…virtually all the problems in the world come from inequality of one kind or another” - Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate, who inspired me to think through these issues, leading to my development career


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