Popularly known as Shailaja Teacher, is an Indian politician and the current MLA representing Kuthuparamba constituency. She is one of the two female ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet. She hails from Kannur district of Kerala.
has received international attention for her leadership in tackling COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala. Till around mid-March, she gave daily press briefings. She was invited by the United Nations to participate in a panel discussion on United Nations Public Service Day 2020, for her efforts to fight COVID-19 in her state on June 23, 2020. The Guardian described her as "coronavirus slayer" and "rock star health minister". BBC News featured her among a list of Asian women corona fighters. She was also featured by Vogue Magazine as a "Vogue Warrior". The British magazine Prospect selected her as the world's 'top thinker' for COVID-19 in 2020, topping the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. Shailaja was named one of the world's most influential women of 2020.