Dr Jemilah appointed as pro-chancellor of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia


PETALING JAYA: Prof Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood (pic) has been appointed as pro-chancellor of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM).

The distinguished health professional, humanitarian and development leader took up her position on Sept 1 and her appointment will run for five years.

Prof Jemilah said it was a great honour to be appointed as the university’s values align with her own - with a focus on education for all and delivering outcomes for its students, wider society, and the global economy.

She has dedicated her career to healing others, working in the health sector for over 30 years as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and as a humanitarian activist for over 20 years.

She was also the driving force behind the establishment of Mercy Malaysia in 1999.

Both Heriot-Watt University principal and vice-chancellor Prof Richard A. Williams and HWUM board of directors chair Datuk Yasmin Mahmood welcomed Prof Jemilah.

“Her passion, dedication, and proven leadership track record in humanitarian work, public health, sustainability, and youth empowerment- locally and internationally, will greatly advance the university’s mission of delivering world-class, purpose-led education and research, while ensuring the communities we live and work with are our equal partners in transforming today's challenges into opportunities,” added Yasmin.

HWUM provost and chief executive officer Prof Mushtak Al-Atabi said: “Her deep understanding of the complexities of cross-cultural issues has made her a strong voice of social inclusion and peacebuilding.

“Being a prolific advocate on a wide range of issues, as well as one of the most respected global leaders in the health, humanitarian and development sectors, she will be a force for excellence in Malaysia, the region and globally.”

Currently, Prof Jemilah is a professor and executive director of Sunway Centre for Planetary Health and a senior fellow at the Adrienne-Arsht - Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center.

Her previous appointments include being the special advisor to the former prime minister of Malaysia on public health and under-secretary-general for Partnerships in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Geneva from 2016-2020.

She has also worked at the United Nations in New York as Chief of the Secretariat of the World Humanitarian Summit, heading the humanitarian branch at the United National Population Fund.

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