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Headshot of Leila Kahwati

Leila Kahwati

Senior Research Scientist, Fellow, & Acting Chief Medical Officer


MD, University of Pittsburgh
MPH, University of North Carolina
BA, Cornell University


Leila C. Kahwati, MD, MPH, is a primary care physician with more than 20 years of experience focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating programs, interventions, and policies in healthcare settings to improve the delivery of care and patient health outcomes. She is board certified in family medicine and in general preventive medicine/public health and has additional training in epidemiology and health services research. Her expertise lies in qualitative comparative analysis and evidence synthesis projects, including scoping reviews, rapid reviews, signal searches, and environmental scans.

Dr. Kahwati has served in various project roles, including project director and associate project director, task lead, and senior scientific advisor on a number of projects for government clients, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in addition to not-for-profit clients. She is a lead investigator with the RTI-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center and regularly conducts systematic reviews to support the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the State of Washington Health Technology Assessment Program, and the Drug Effectiveness Review Project.

Before joining RTI in 2012, Dr. Kahwati served as the Deputy Chief Consultant for Preventive Medicine within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), where she led efforts to implement and evaluate comprehensive health promotion and disease prevention services throughout the VHA. 

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