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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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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 Cofounder and Chief Medical Officer of Cleo, a platform which supports working parents with prenatal and postpartum care to grow their families and their careers, on their own terms.She is an attending obstetrician/gynecologist at Alameda County Health System in Oakland, CA.

Chitra was born in Portland, OR to parents who emigrated from India and are naturalized citizens. They now live in Seattle, WA.

Chitra completed her MD and MBA degrees at Harvard in 2011. She received a BA in Community Health, magna cum laude, from Brown University.

It was at Brown that Chitra got her start undertaking community-based work on global health inequities. She has since studied female migrants as a Fulbright Grantee to South Africa, 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 is most recently involved with operations improvement projects on labor and delivery units at Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda and at the University of California, San Francisco, where she completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency training. She served as Adminstrative Chief Resident.

She previously worked at Kyruus, Inc., a Boston-based healthcare start-up with a mission to improve patient access. She looks forward to a career that combines her clinical and business backgrounds to design high value care innovations towards better maternal outcomes.

  • MBA Business | Harvard University 2011
  • MD Medicine | Harvard University 2011
  • BA Community Health | Brown University 2004
Work History
  • Cleo, Cofounder & Chief Medical Officer
  • Oakcare Medical Group, Staff Obstetrician Gynecologist | August 2015
  • Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Associate Medical Director | August 2015
  • University of California, San Francisco, Resident Physician, Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences | June 2011 - June 2015
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Chitra Akileswaran's Startup, Cleo, Announced A $10.5 Million Series A Round

2009 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Chitra Akileswaran is putting her MBA and MD to work in Cleo, the startup she cofounded with Shannon Spanhake. The company, which supports working parents as they transition back to the workforce, announced a $10.5...

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