Senior Program Officer, Policy & Advocacy
Dr. Biswajit (“Bish”) Paul is a scientist and civil-rights advocate who has dedicated his career to advancing equity and social justice. He currently serves as the policy lead for the Washington State team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he invests in quality early learning, K-12, and postsecondary programs and policies in both district and charter schools.
Bish’s passion for equity and social justice is rooted in his intersectional lived experiences as a queer, person of color, first generation college student, from a low-income, immigrant household. Throughout his career, he has straddled legislative advocacy, policymaking, research analytics, education reform, and community activism, all in service of rewriting inequitable laws.
In 2019, Bish founded and led the statewide Washington STEM Advocacy Coalition, which played a critical role in passing 80-plus bills that close gaps in access to, and attainment of, high-value credentials and family-sustaining careers across the state.
Bish’s impact extends beyond Washington state. In 2022, as the Global Head of DEI Industry Collaboration at Snap Inc., he led a coalition of 30-plus tech companies (the Action to Catalyze Tech ACT) which will result in collective action on diversity, equity, and inclusion at an industry level. He is also part of the Harvard Business School’s 2023 Young American Leaders Program national cohort. Previously, in his PhD dissertation project, Bish successfully demonstrated that Genome Editing can be used to engineer T-cells in the immune system so that they become resistant to HIV entry.
His work has earned him national recognition, including being named “National Educator of the Year” in 2018 and being featured as a “Local Icon” in the Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement exhibition at Seattle’s MoPOP museum in 2021.
For self care, Bish likes to garden and to explore the Pacific Northwest outdoors with his husband, Theo, and their pitbull-boxer, Bae. He is also on a decades-long quest to find local authentic Hyderabadi biryani that rivals his hometown!
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