The keynote speaker for this year’s convocation is the esteemed, Dr. Sania Nishtar. Dr. Nishtar is Prime Minister of Pakistan’s special assistant and Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection. She also chairs the Benazir Income Support Program, and the government of Pakistan’s Council on Poverty Alleviation.
Dr. Nishtar is also the co-chair of World Health Organization’s High-Level Commission on non-communicable diseases along with the presidents of Uruguay, Finland and Sri-Lanka. She is also a member and former chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Healthcare and has recently chaired the US National Academy of Sciences Global Study on the Quality of Healthcare in low and middle-income countries. In addition, she also chairs the United Nations International Institute for Global Health’s Advisory Committee. She has founded the NGO Heartfile in Pakistan and has also previously served as a federal minister in the Pakistan government in 2013.
In 2017, she was Pakistan’s nominee for Director-General of the World Health Organization and was in the final shortlist of three. Earlier she was also founding Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Independent Accountability Panel for Women’s and Children’s health and chaired WHO’s Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. She has received many international awards for her work and is widely published. Dr. Nishtar graduated from Khyber Medical University as the best graduate in 1986 and took a PhD at Kings College London. She is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.