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Meet Roshni

Dr. Roshni Rao is a visionary leader and educator at Johns Hopkins University. As the Executive Director of Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Design and the Director of PHutures, Dr. Rao is dedicated to empowering Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows from diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential.

With a passion for innovation, Dr. Rao has created a state-of-the-art career hub for PhDs, providing easy access to modern and scalable career opportunities. Some of her notable contributions include the creation of the first data-driven hiring event featuring over 100 PhD hiring organizations, an award-winning global career conference attended by over 3000 individuals from 43 countries, the first community-focused Career Impact Awards, and a groundbreaking research communication competition with an emphasis on inclusivity.

Dr. Rao is widely recognized as a thought leader in the field of Ph.D. careers, particularly for underrepresented and international scholars. She has delivered over 100 national and international talks, including keynotes at esteemed institutions such as the National Cancer Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. Her efforts to promote an inclusive graduate experience at Hopkins have earned her the 2021 Diversity Recognition Award from the JHU Diversity Leadership Council.

In her previous role as Associate Director at the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Rao helped postdoctoral fellows transition into scientific careers and reinvigorated the community by incorporating well-being into the professional development toolkit. For her exceptional contributions to postdoctoral professional development, she was honored with the Kelly Distinguished Service Award from the NIA.

As a risk-taker and motivator, Dr. Rao recently received the inaugural Risk Taker award in recognition of her unwavering commitment to creating accessible and scalable ways to share knowledge and experiences. With her commitment to the success of PhDs, she is well-equipped to inspire and guide the next generation on their journeys.

Dr. Rao holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Carolina and a Postgraduate Diploma in Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand.