- Dr. Sania Nishtar
Dr. Sania Nishtar
Sania Nishtar graduated from medical school with 16 gold medals, a college record which remains unbroken. She left a lucrative career as Pakistan’s first woman cardiologist and set course on a journey to improve the lives of the marginalized, to challenge business-as-usual models and develop innovative solutions that are saving people's lives. She is the founder of many health institutions in Pakistan, the NGO think tank Heartfile and the award-winning Heartfile Health Financing program. In 2013 she served as a Federal Minister in Pakistan’s Caretaker Government, where she held four portfolios.
Sania Nishtar is the Co-chair of the World Health Organization’s Commission on Obesity. She has recently been appointed Chair of the United Nations’ Independent Accountability Panel on the Global Women and Children’s health strategy. In addition, she is vice Chair of one of World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils, member of the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI), member of the Planetary Health Commission of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Harvard University’s Pain and Palliative Care Commission. The World Health Organization describes her as a “widely considered thought leader on health policy”. Her work in global health, international development, humanitarian assistance and health reform, both nationally and internationally, span many dimensions, which range from public policy, research, advocacy and implementation.
She has previously served as a member on the boards of the International Union for Health Promotion, the World Heart Federation, WHO’s Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, the Aspen Institute’s Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health, and as member of the Clinton Global Initiative. She has also led the prestigious Pakistan Lancet Series on Health Reform and has previously headed many global initiatives, including the award winning Global World Heart Day campaign. She is a regular plenary speaker, chair or moderator at global health meetings and a part of organizing major international conferences.
Sania Nishtar is a key health policy voice in Pakistan, the author of Pakistan’s first health reform plan, Pakistan’s first compendium of health statistics, and the country’s first national public health plan for NCDs. She is a member of many boards, advisory groups and task forces and a voice to catalyze change at the broader governance level in Pakistan. Sania Nishtar is the author of 6 books and over 300 peer-reviewed articles and Opeds. She is published in the New York Times, Guardian, the Lancet, the British Medical Journal, Project Syndicate, Huffington Post, amongst other journals. Her latest book, Choked Pipes, published by Oxford University Press, is a post-graduate text book and has been the subject of a documentary by an award winning British filmmaker. She is the recipient of Pakistan’s Sitara e-Imtiaz, the European Societies Population Science Award, and many accolades of the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge and the American Biographical Center. In 2011 she received the prestigious Global Innovation award, which was given only to four individuals in the world, one of them being President Bill Clinton. In 2015 Sania Nishtar was Pakistan’s candidate for UNHCR and was in the shortlist. Sania Nishtar holds a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians and a Ph.D from Kings College, London.