Faculty Spotlight - Tanvi Nagpal, PhD


Tanvi Nagpal, PhD is the Associate Director of the International Development Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She is also an affiliate scholar of the Urban Institute, and is currently researching with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP).

After receiving her undergraduate degree from St. Stephen’s College in Dehli, Dr. Nagpal attended Brown University where she received both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science and was an active participant in the World Hunger Program. Through the WHP, she was able to study food policy and food poverty, and later wrote her thesis on Tanzania’s rural communities and agriculture. At the time, Dr. Nagpal hoped to work on the local-level, but it wasn’t until after she worked for the World Resources Institution’s 2050 project that her interests transitioned to environmental sustainability.  

In 1995, Dr. Nagpal began working at the World Bank, where she assisted in Metropolitan Environmental Improvement Program in multiple countries. Since then, Dr. Nagpal’s career led her to other elite institutions and organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Elliot School of International and Global Affairs at George Washington University, and the Water and Sanitation Initiatives.

Her research today is dedicated to reaching the poorest part of populations with water and sanitation services. Her work integrates donors, communities, international organizations, and policies in order to best serve the poor and understand every way water and proper sanitation can be delivered. At the WSUP, her work spans Maputo, Mozambique, Nakuru, Kenya and the Ga West municipality in Greater Accra, Ghana, where she assists in opening pathways for communication and advocacy platforms in order to increase local funding and budget for the poor through local taxes and tariffs.

Facts About Dr. Tanvi Nagpal:

  1. Dr. Nagpal is a voracious reader—she’s greatly looking forward to To Kill a Mockingbird’s sequel!
  2. Hungry? Dr. Nagpal loves cooking and having dinner with her friends and family.
  3. In the summertime, you can find Dr. Nagpal gardening in her free time 


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