Born and raised in rural Virginia, Sanjay Kishore is the youngest child of parents who emigrated from Hyderabad, India. Both of his grandfathers were Gandhian-era civil servants in the state of Andhra Pradesh who supported socialist land reform and helped operate medical clinics for the most vulnerable. Sanjay’s mother instilled the mantra, “Service to mankind is service to God.”
In high school Sanjay pursued his interest in government and service, becoming the Youth Governor of the Virginia YMCA Model General Assembly. He went on to Duke University, where he designed his own major around the social determinants of health. After hearing a Congolese physician call on undergraduates to address civil war in the DRC, he helped lead a movement to change investment policy in companies sourcing conflict minerals from the region.
After college, Sanjay sharpened his policy skills as the Villers Fellow at Families USA, a progressive health advocacy organization, and started Commonwealth Covered, Virginia’s first student-run campaign to enroll individuals in health insurance coverage.
At Harvard Medical School, Sanjay worked with fellow members of the Racial Justice Coalition to advocate for affordable health benefits for a union of over 700 Harvard dining workers. Now a second-year medical student, Sanjay aspires to use his clinical training to serve not just as an advocate for individual patients, but as the foundation for a career organizing for a more just society.
Sanjay’s elder brother, Sandeep Kishore, MD, PhD, is a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow in the Class of 2008.