Sumera Haque, MBBS, MPH, director of the Johns Hopkins Women’s Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital, has been selected as one of this year’s Presidential Leadership Scholars. She is the first Pakistani-American woman selected for this highly prestigious program.
The Presidential Leadership Scholars program
was established to serve as a catalyst for a diverse network of leaders brought together to collaborate and make a difference in the world as they learn about leadership through the lens of the presidential experiences of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon B. Johnson. It focuses on leadership opportunities that inspire people to create solutions for complex challenges in their communities, whether local, national or international, according to the organization’s website.
“I feel greatly honored to be selected as a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar,” says Haque. “Having immigrated to the United States in the 1990s, I am deeply thankful for the opportunities that this wonderful country has given to me and my sons. Over the years, I have participated in multiple causes, and now I am even more determined to give back to my community, country and world.”
Haque was selected for this unique program in part because of her longtime support of women’s health and girls’ education. She has also been a consultant to the World Bank on HIV-AIDS; a liaison to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an initiative of the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation; and an ambassador for the Brookings Institution's Girls Education Champion Network South Asia Hub.
A physician from Pakistan, Haque is also a social and women’s rights activist. She has experienced firsthand the gender discrimination issues faced by women in developing countries and has dedicated her life to helping women with similar experiences. She has volunteered with several organizations working on women’s issues, including Tahiri Justice, Mirecs, Cair Coalition and Catholic Charities. For her work, she received the Shero Award for Community Service from Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland). Haque was also nominated to attend ‘The United State of Women’ White House Summit in June 2016.
She is a producer/ambassador of Girl Rising Pakistan, a global movement supporting girls’ education and empowerment. She also mentors and coaches undergraduate students interested in careers in medicine and public health and provides guidance to foreign medical doctors who are pursuing licensing exams and public health/health care administration degrees in the United States. Her commitment to education and women empowerment also includes serving as a faculty advisor at the George Washington University’s (GWU) Global Women’s Institute, as a GWU alumni ambassador and an advisor to WPSP Woodrow Wilson Center. Haque also serves as a Global Teacher Prize Academy member and judge for the past four years.