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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)



Inspired by his experiences growing up and working in immigrant-rich communities around New York City, Abrar is interested in exploring the intersection of minority health and social services. At Cambridge he intends to focus on developing community-centered models for managing health and social care, as well as investigate how contemporary data and technology policies shape social service- and healthcare-seeking behaviors among migrants, gender minorities, and aging populations.

Abrar has worked across New York City to promote health through data science. His work experience includes projects with organizations like the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports, the South Asian Council for Social Services, HeatSeek NYC, and the NYC Housing Data Coalition. Abrar has also demonstrated his commitment to global health. In 2017, Abrar took a sabbatical and was a Siemens Foundation Global Health Research Fellow at research non-profit PATH, where he developed a novel diagnostic tool to detect G6PD enzyme deficiency in malaria elimination contexts. In 2019, he collaborated on a research framework for addressing reproductive health issues in emerging health systems at the Population Council.

Abrar graduated in May of 2020 with a B.A. in Statistics and Political Science from Columbia University in the City of New York and was the recipient of the 2020 Alan J. Willen Prize for American Politics. Since graduation, Abrar has worked at the Open Society Foundations as a member of the Global Drug Policy Program.


– Public health and human rights

– Urban studies

– Criminal justice

– Science and technology policy

Supervisor: Dr Matthew Agawala