P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Chitra Akileswaran, 2009

Cofounder & Chief Medical Officer, Cleo

Chitra Akileswaran is the child of immigrants from India

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD in Medicine at Harvard University

Chitra Akileswaran is the Vice Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Alameda Health System, a large safety net health system in Oakland, CA, where she has been practicing since 2015. She is also the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Cleo, a health tech platform and employer benefit that supports working parents to grow their families and their careers. Cleo is venture-backed by top tier Silicon Valley firms including Forerunner Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Greylock Partners, and NEA.

Chitra was born in Portland, OR to parents who emigrated from India and are naturalized citizens. They now live with her in Oakland, CA.

Chitra completed her MD and MBA degrees at Harvard in 2011. She received a BA in Community Health, magna cum laude, from Brown University. She moved to San Francisco in 2011 to complete her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was administrative chief resident.

Chitra has a long history of combining her interests in community-based work on health inequities with innovative approaches to care delivery. As a Fulbright Grantee to South Africa, Chitra studied female migrants' social, sexual, and health-related networks. She traveled to the Dominican Republic to address the needs of Haitian batey communities, and collaborated with a private bank in south India to create a maternity financing product for rural women. Chitra also spent some time at McKinsey & Company.  

She looks forward to a career that focuses on using technology and organizational change to ensure equitable, accessible, and high quality outcomes for people and families along the reproductive life cycle.

  • MD Medicine | Harvard University 2011
  • MBA Business | Harvard University 2011
  • BA Community Health | Brown University 2004
Work History
  • Cleo, Cofounder & Chief Medical Officer
  • Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Associate Medical Director | August 2015
  • Oakcare Medical Group, Staff Obstetrician Gynecologist | August 2015
  • University of California, San Francisco, Resident Physician, Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences | June 2011 - June 2015
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