Shuma Panse, senior program officer, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in February 2016, bringing extensive experience in business engagement on health, public-private partnerships, and global health. Her work at the Foundation focuses on increasing private sector action to build a Culture of Health and catalyzing cross-sector partnerships that result in healthier communities. She believes the Foundation is “positioned to bring diverse actors–public, private and nonprofit–together, and that business has a unique role to play in ensuring a healthier nation for all.”
Previously, Shuma was director of global programs at GBCHealth, a New York City-headquartered business coalition of 200 companies addressing health issues like HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in low- and middle-income countries. She advised leading global brands–with a focus on the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, mining and consulting sectors–on their workplace health programs and community and social investment strategies. As the organization’s global lead for TB and non-communicable disease activities, she worked closely with its field offices in South Africa, Kenya, China, and Russia to develop innovative member programming and forged partnerships with key global health stakeholders including UN agencies and U.S. government institutions. Throughout her time at GBCHealth, she saw first-hand the significant impact business assets and influence can have on ensuring positive health outcomes.
Shuma’s prior work experiences include a fellowship at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Peace Corps, health departments in New York City, Massachusetts and Louisiana, and several community-based organizations. She has worked in more than 15 countries, including long-term assignments in Madagascar and India.
Shuma earned a BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Culture from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Masters of Public Health from Tulane University.
Born in Michigan and raised in New Jersey by parents originally from Mumbai, India, she currently lives in Jersey City, N.J. with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys baking (especially birthday cakes for her kids), the performing arts (musical theater and Bollywood) and traveling (anywhere).