Suraj is the Director: Policy Advocacy at AVAC where he oversees and collaborates with AVAC’s Policy Advocacy team and partners on policy goals aimed at expanding access to HIV prevention, supporting R&D and programs, and advancing global health equity. In this role, Suraj formulates the organization’s policy strategy, and supports the Policy Advocacy team to drive AVAC’s leadership across implementation advocacy and federal/multilateral policy. Since joining AVAC, Suraj has led a transformative reorganization, expansion and realignment of AVAC’s policy priorities, including laying the groundwork for deeper and meaningful engagement in pandemic preparedness, federal government relations and domestic HIV prevention policy, as well as human rights issues.
Prior to joining AVAC, Suraj was the US and Global Health Policy Director for Treatment Action Group (TAG) where he built the policy footprint of the organization and directed advocacy efforts across HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis C (HCV), and other allied health and human rights issues. Suraj’s tenure at TAG led to a series of critical policy wins, of which include significant funding increases to the US global TB efforts at USAID, restoration of cuts to the domestic TB prevention program at CDC, and collaborating with Congress on the introduction of key legislation supporting domestic and global TB programs.
Suraj joined AVAC in 2022, bringing over a decade of experience in domestic and global health advocacy and organizing with expertise in coalition-building, community mobilization, global health governance, access to medicines, and the linkages between health, human rights, and social justice. As a former journalist, his writing has appeared in PLOS, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Health Affairs, POZ Magazine, Treatment Issues, Windy City Times, and The Journal for Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Medicine. He is a recipient of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship for Public Service and was named a US Human Rights Network fellow in 2014. Suraj holds three graduate degrees in medical journalism, public health, bioethics and health policy. He resides in Chicago, Illinois with his family and when not parenting his 3 sons, he is writing letters and poetry to them, moonlighting as a novice cordwainer, or gone running.