University of Sourthern California


Meet Program Director - Dr Shubha Kumar

Dr. Kumar successfully led the design and oversight of several programs in health care, disaster relief, and education, as well as launched an international humanitarian NGO for which she was the Chief Operating Officer. Her recent projects include capacity building of healthcare NGOs and the development and strengthening of emergency medical systems in sub-Saharan Africa. She is most well-known for her expertise in impact evaluation, particularly Social Return on Investment Analysis. She has lectured and consulted nationally and internationally, as well as developed the first distance education module on this subject.

Her professional and research interests include management and leadership in global health and development, program planning and evaluation, health systems strengthening, and best practices in knowledge transfer and health education.


Hi, I'm Shubha Kumar. I'm Director of the online MPH program here at USC. I joined USC in 2012 to help start this new online Master of Public Health program.

In terms of my research, I've been really interested in global health, specifically looking at monitoring and evaluation of global health programs; really trying to understand their impact, how they can be improved; are they really having the impact we're hoping to have, where's accountability? Are they ultimately serving populations we intend to serve? How and why? That's really what I'm passionate about, that's what I love studying. Both from an academic and practice perspective.

What I love most about leading the online MPH program, is the opportunity to interact with fantastic students from around the world. Our students do amazing work. A lot of them are already employed, and so just the work that they're doing on a daily basis, but seeing how they really incorporate their skills of what they learned in the program, into their daily work, is fascinating for me. We've had students do projects all over the world that are really helping populations. And I think that's the part that I really love most: seeing what students are doing, how they're applying the learning on their job and for their practicum. They come back with amazing stories about the work that they've done, or that they're doing, and for me I really see that as an extension of the good work we can do as a collective.

Like a typical Californian, I love the beach. Everyday that I can take advantage of going to the beach, I do. I love being out in nature. I love animals. I love going to the zoo. I love going to art museums. I'm an artist at heart, so I love to paint. Of course, spending time with my family and my friends. I really enjoy cooking. And eating, for that matter. I love traveling, and thanks to the kind of work I do in global health, I get the opportunity to travel a lot and experience different cultures, and people, and places in the world.