A Conversation with Dr. Senait Fisseha, Chief Advisor to Director of WHO and Director at Susan T. Buffett Foundation
Time & Location
About the event
Dr. Senait Fisseha is a globally recognized leader in reproductive health and rights and a lifelong gender champion. Trained as an attorney and a physician, her unique ability to bring the advocacy, practitioner and policymaking communities together and build broad coalitions of support has fundamentally shifted the global conversation around access to safe, legal and affordable sexual and reproductive health services across the globe. Her contribution to global health, and especially in Ethiopia through the Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT), has been instrumental to the advancement of reproductive health education and gender equality and has set a high standard for prioritizing and advocating for women’s health and leadership in countries around the world.
She was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2018 by New African magazine and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy in 2019 by the Apolitical network and one of the top 40 most forward-thinking women in 2020 by Athena40, a project launched by the Global Thinkers Forum.
Professor Fisseha currently serves as the Director of International Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, as well as Chief Adviser to the Director-General of the World Health Organization. A reproductive endocrinology specialist, prior to these roles, Dr. Fisseha was the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Michigan, Medical Director at its Center for Reproductive Medicine and founding Executive Director of CIRHT. While at Michigan, she also co-directed the medical school’s Global Health & Disparities Path of Excellence. As leader of the University of Michigan-Ethiopia Collaborative Platform for Global Health, she helped Michigan forge strong partnerships with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and the St. Paul Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa.
Professor Fisseha was born in Ethiopia and earned an undergraduate degree from Rosary College in River Forest, Illinois, medical doctor and juris doctor degrees from Southern Illinois University, and a certificate in International Human Rights and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford. She has received numerous awards including the recognition of her transformative contribution to the Ethiopian Health Sector by the Ethiopian Prime Minister, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2019, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health’s highest award, the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Alumni Award and the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.