Karthik Natarajan

Karthik Natarajan

Assistant Professor
Supply Chain and Operations


  • Ph.D. 2013
    Operations University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Humanitarian and Not-for-profit Operations
  • Global Health Supply Chains
  • Health Care Delivery Systems in Resource Constrained Settings
  • Socially Responsible Operations


Karthik Natarajan is an assistant professor of Supply Chain and Operations at the Carlson School of Management. He received his Ph. D. in Operations from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, where he won numerous awards for his research including the Outstanding Graduating Student Award and a competitive University-wide Fellowship. At the Carlson School, Natarajan has received several recognitions for his teaching including the Outstanding Teaching Award (2016) and being nominated as a finalist for the Business Week Faculty of the Year Award (2019 and 2020). His comments on global health issues, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been featured in several media outlets including the New York Times, Star Tribune, PBS (Almanac), Kare 11 and Fox9.

Natarajan's research interests are in the areas of social responsibility and humanitarian and non-profit operations, with a specific focus on global public health. Within this context, his works have explored several key issues including understanding the impact of uncertainty and delays in donor funding, designing incentives to patients and healthcare providers to maximize the number of people benefitting from a humanitarian healthcare program, and identifying supply chain strategies to lower the likelihood of stock-outs of essential health commodities (e.g., reproductive health supplies) at last-mile facilities in developing countries. He has consulted for global health agencies including USAID and also actively works with Minneapolis-based non-profits. Natarajan’s research has been published in several leading journals including Manufacturing and Service Operations Management and Production and Operations Management

Selected Works & Activities.

  • Journal Articles
    Natarajan, K.V., J.M. Swaminathan. 2014. "Inventory Management in Humanitarian Operations: Impact of Amount, Schedule, and Uncertainty in Funding", Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 16(4), pp. 595-603
  • Journal Articles
    Natarajan, K.V., J.M. Swaminathan. 2016. "Multi-Treatment Inventory Allocation in Humanitarian Health Settings under Funding Constraints", Production and Operations Management.
  • Scholarly Service

    Reviewer for Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Operations Management and Decision Sciences.

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