Professor Senait Fisseha is a globally recognized leader in reproductive health & rights and a lifelong gender champion. Trained as an attorney and a physician, her 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 reproductive and maternal health services across the globe.
Professor Fisseha currently serves as the Director of Global Programs at the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, where she oversees the Foundation’s international grantmaking to advance women’s health and rights globally. She also serves as the Chief Advisor to the Director-General of the World Health Organization. An Obstetrician and Gynecologist specialist, prior to these roles, Dr Fisseha served as the Chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the University of Michigan, Medical Director of University of Michigan’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and founding Executive Director of the Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT). While at Michigan, she also co-directed the Medical School’s Path of Excellence in Global Health & Disparities.
She was named one of the 100 Most Influential Africans for 2018 by New African magazine and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy in 2019 and top forty most forward-thinking women in 2020 by Athena40. She has also received numerous awards, including the Ethiopian Ministry of Health’s highest award for her transformative contributions to the health sector; University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Alumni Award; the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine; and the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award from Southern Illinois University.