Shekhar Saxena is Professor of the Practice of Global Mental Health at the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
A psychiatrist by training, he was in the faculty of AIIMS, New Delhi before he joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1998. From 2010 to 2018 he was the Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. During his leadership WHO’s Mental Health Action Plan was adopted by the World Health Assembly and mental health and wellbeing was included in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
He also led the WHO team to strengthen mental health services in more than 100 countries. Author of more than 300 academic papers, he was an editor of the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development 2018. His expertise includes providing evidence-based advice and technical assistance to policy makers, businesses and civil society on mental health promotion and prevention and management of mental, developmental, neurological and substance use disorders and suicide prevention.