Dr. Acharya was born in a rural village in the Papa district in western Nepal. He was one of the six children whom his parents raised and educated at some of the best schools in the region and in the world despite the challenges of rural life. After the passing of his wife, Dr. Acharya independently raised his three daughters, while pursuing his professional career.

He cherishes his role as a proud son to his parents and a father to his three daughters. He is committed to demonstrating the value of resilience, commitment, passion for work, and strong family and cultural values that he was bought up with, which resonates with many communities in the South- East Asia Region.

He ensured that all his three daughters got the best of education and gave them career choices of their liking. one daughter is an Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; the second is a project lead in a US consulting firm; and the third one is pursuing her career as a writer.

Dr Acharya believes in equal education and equal opportunities for girls and boys and leads that by example. He has been a dedicated, single parent who successfully juggled both career and parenting.

Dr. Acharya is a dedicated son who continues to take care of his elderly parent and he is an avid hiker and is passionate about channeling his active lifestyle to promote healthy lifestyle choices and to improve well-being. 


In his early days as young professional, Dr. Acharya had traveled and seen the diverse needs of populations, including those in remote and rural areas. He believes in delivering results through continuous learning and deep engagement with communities firsthand. He says: “As a young person, I felt I could save the world, but as I worked in rural communities, trekking sometimes 10 days on foot to support a health center, I realized the importance of listening to the people we serve, because they know their problems and the contextualized solutions.

We need to build on their ideas, support them and deliver results that can change their lives. Forty years on, and as a leader, I am still continuing to learn, but now I know that I can help change their lives”.

Text BoxDr Acharya values partnerships, voices from the communities, and the lessons learnt. He says: “Every country has their successes, challenges, and failures and most importantly the lessons we learn in the process. We need to document and reflect on these lessons and adapt them to our future works. I am inspired by the stories and lessons from the grassroots, which can guide the work of WHO and others in making a difference in the lives of the population.”

His deep understanding through engagements with communities, countries, and diverse partners over the years has enabled him to advocate for effective and creative solutions at the national, regional and global levels and to help drive important plans and policies to address the needs on the ground. He is a strong advocate for innovation and evidence-based policy, and he is motivated to use these tools to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild better health systems to address the complex challenges faced by the countries globally.

Dr. Acharya holds a Ph.D. in health policy and financing from the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health, USA (1991) and a master’s degree in social policy, population economies, demography and biostatistics from Ball State University, Indiana, USA (1995). He began his public health career as a project manager at a non-governmental organization in Nepal where he focused on family planning and maternal child health. It was through this experience that he developed his passion for connecting with people and for improving population health, particularly for those who are underserved. Dr. Acharya then moved to the World Bank, where he led large health and population initiatives.

While living in Bangladesh, Dr. Acharya was inspired by WHO’s efforts to eliminate polio, provide DOTS to TB patients, provide prenatal and antenatal services to pregnant mothers, and vaccines to newborns across the country. Dr Acharya then accepted the offer to join the WHO Bangladesh Country Office in August 1992 where he managed one of the largest projects in the health and population sector as the Program Manager. He continued to work with WHO since then, moving from the country office to WHO South-East Asia Regional Office in New Delhi, India in May 1997, and to the WHO headquarters in June 1999. Over the years, he has strategically advised the political and development issues and supported development of national health plans, policies, and strategies for countries.

Dr. Acharya’s unique technical expertise and experience had been instrumental in the WHO pandemic response.in addition, he had significantly contributed to the implementation of internal reforms to improve WHO operations, including reporting to member states on the work of the countries and in improving the recruitment process for highly competent country representatives which is critical to WHO’s leadership in health globally.