From Planets to COVID Watch: Alumna Anjali Tripathi '05 helps government COVID-19 data and epidemiology

Anjali Tripathi ’05 is a scientist committed to public service. By day, the former White House advisor works at NASA JPL on climate change. By night, she’s part of the team that delivers LA’s daily COVID-19 case counts.

When COVID-19 hit, Anjali switched from planet hunting to mapping COVID-19 cases. After finding inconsistencies in the data, she joined the LA County Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 data and epidemiology team. She said, “I’ve never gotten emotional over data before.” When Anjali first saw disparities in the data, public conversation didn’t involve equity. Since April, she has been expanding the statistics the County releases. Her website, COVID Watch, makes new data available, including how COVID-19 stacks up to other illnesses and what to expect as flu season worsens. Anjali hopes that by improving data transparency and communicating it clearly, outcomes will improve for all.