Biraj Karmacharya named 2024 Alumni of Impact Awardee for the UW School of Public Health


Biraj Karmacharya, a public health leader in Nepal, has been selected as the 2024 recipient of the Alumni of Impact Award.  

Given annually by the University of Washington School of Public Health (UW SPH), this prestigious award recognizes an SPH alum who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the field of public health and has made significant contributions to their communities. 

Karmacharya studied at SPH as a Nepal Fulbright scholar and received two degrees from the School: a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and an MPH in Global Health. He is also an affiliate associate professor in the School’s Department of Global Health and was the founding co-director of Nepal Studies Initiative at the Jackson School of International Studies at the UW.   

Karmacharya lives in Nepal where he is the director of Public Health/Community Programs and Global Engagement at Dhulikhel Hospital and associate professor at the Department of Public Health at Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences.  

He founded and has been leading the Department of Community Programs/Public Health at Dhulikhel Hospital since 2006, through which he is engaged in developing and setting up innovative community-based health and integrated health and development programs in Nepal. He has also been instrumental in advancing public health training and research in Nepal leading the pioneering programs MScPH (Epidemiology and Global Health) and lately the Ph.D. Program in Public Health at Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences. 

“Biraj has been instrumental in bringing together a coalition to provide high quality health care and public health measures to poor, rural and marginalized communities in Nepal as well as programs that train the country’s public health and medical professionals,” said Hilary Godwin, dean of SPH. “It is hard to imagine a more inspirational individual who can speak to the opportunities that our UW public health graduates have to leverage their skills and passions and create positive change in the workforce.”  

Karmacharya has supported students’ academic success through the creation of master's and doctoral programs at Kathmandu University and more recently has developed a network of institutions across Nepal that provide training in public health. He has been a mentor and committee member to several students at UW SPH. Through his work and connections, several students from Nepal have attended UW SPH. 

He obtained an MBBS (2003) from Kathmandu University; an MS (Tropical Medicine, 2006) from Mahidol University, Thailand; a Ph.D. (Epidemiology, 2015) as a Fulbright Science and Technology awardee, an MPH (Global Health: Leadership, Policy and Management, 2017) and Postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology from the UW. He was also the recipient of UW SPH’s outstanding Ph.D. student award in 2015. 

Karmacharya will address the 2024 graduates of the School at the SPH Graduation Celebration on June 9, 2024, at the Alaska Airlines Arena on UW’s campus.  

Watch Biraj Karmacharya address the UW SPH Class of 2024