RISING BEYOND THE CEILING 2023
A first ever collective of its kind, Rising Beyond The Ceiling USA captures the diversity and accomplishments of 100 contemporary Muslim women from India in the United States
Rising Beyond The Ceiling (RBTC) is a global initiative to shine a spotlight on achievements and contributions of Muslim women of India, both in the country and in countries around the world. The vision of RBTC is 3 Cs- Celebrating Achievements, Changing Stereotypes and Creating Leadership Opportunities.
The United States RBTC 100 Global Inspirations List seeks to spotlight Muslim women from India who have made their mark in different professions in the USA. The 100 stories capture the resilience, challenges and their immigrant experience in building a career in a new environment and country.
All RBTC 100 USA honorees have done their initial studies in educational institutions in India and later moved to the USA. They have contributed and received accolades and successes in the many fields from academics and medicine to arts and entrepreneurship. The 100 honorees, are a source of pride their country of origin , to their Alma Mater institutions in India and to communities in the USA.
RBTC 100 Global Honorees profiles serve as an inspiration and role model for the next generation of Indian, as well as all immigrant women, who are working and dreaming to make an impact in the world. They also contribute to changing the stereotype narrative surrounding the 100 million women today in India who identify themselves as Muslim.
Introduction: Beyond Stereotypes Click side arrow for foreword by Chairperson Dr. Farah K. Usmani
According to the Pew Research Center 2012 study, Asian Americans: Mosaic of Faiths, the religious makeup of Indian Americans is estimated to be 51 percent Hindus, 18 percent Christians, 10 percent Muslim, 5 percent Sikh, 2 percent Jains and remaining other religions such as Buddhists, Bahais, Jews. Based on the estimate that 10 percent Indian Americans profess the Muslim faith, of the 2.7 million first generation Indian immigrants, the cohort of Muslims is an estimated 270,000 persons, of which half, or 135,000, would be Muslim women and girls from India. The 100 Rising Beyond The Ceiling stories are a small sliver from among these 135,000 Muslim women and girls, who were born in India and spent the early part of their life there, and then immigrated to America either through marriage or for higher studies.
There is a stereotype narrative surrounding Muslim women of India. The major stereotypes that they are confronted with are around education, marital rights, and freedom. They are often imagined and portrayed as oppressed victims, docile, powerless, voiceless, and marginalized. It is also commonplace to view Muslim women of India, and globally, as a monolithic category, even though they are highly differentiated and heterogeneous. The millions of women of India, who identify themselves as Muslim, reach across all states and union territories, are from a spectrum of ethnicities and languages, do not look the same or sound the same, work and study, live in countries around the world, and contribute to progress and development in a myriad way. The stereotypical image of a Muslim woman as uneducated and lacking ambition is neither true nor fair. It obscures the complex realities of life for many millions of Muslim women ― incorrectly attributing their low levels of educational attainment to a lack of desire, as well as to the strictures of Islam, rather than to a broader range of socioeconomic and political roadblocks. It is equally important to stop creating dichotomies like Muslim women, who wear a veil and fulfill their duties as daughters, wives and mothers, and Muslim women, who are independent professionals with modern education. Such binaries overlook the agency that Muslim women exercise and uses only religion to judge them.
Rising Beyond The Ceiling (RBTC) was founded out of the need to change the stereotypical narrative about Muslim women of India. I believe we ourselves must also work to put forward and build our own narrative. Through sharing the stories of the lived reality of Muslim women’s lives, in all their diversity, RBTC aims to dismantle their negative societal stereotypes. The hundreds of profiles of courage and excellence of Muslim women across India and globally, demonstrate how they have overcome and addressed the hierarchies of gender, class, and location. Through shining a light on the untold stories and celebrating the achievements of Muslim women of India, RBTC proposes to make them more visible and drive a new narrative.
I celebrate all the one hundred honorees spotlighted in this publication. The 100 RBTC USA honorees have displayed exemplary resilience and success in various fields. They tell stereotype shattering stories from across 25 states of the United States, Connecticut to California, Florida to Washington State, Montana, Minneapolis, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland to Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and of course New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia, among others. They have studied at premier Indian educational institutions and universities in the cities of Allahabad, Aligarh, Amravati, Baroda, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mysuru, Manipal, Mumbai, Patna, Pilani, Ranchi, others and obtained their degrees in a range of subjects prior to moving to the US.
The Rising Beyond The Ceiling Honorees have taken up substantive positions in US Government departments and agencies such as NASA, CDC, NIH, US Air Force. They are change makers in social development as philanthropists, CEOs, development specialists, socio political activists. They are expert professionals in science/STEM, medicine, dentistry, and nursing. They are academic professors and academic researchers in a range of subjects from computer science, neuroscience, physics to history, Urdu literature, media, and cultural studies. They lead in American and multinational companies as Directors, Senior Executives, Product Owners, Managing Directors, Vice Presidents. They work in the banking, finance and legal sectors. They are entrepreneurs and founders with their own LLCs in a range of areas from psychology practice, information technology, real estate, and lifestyle related. They are award winning authors and poets in English and translators from local Indian languages and creative contributors to the arts and media as curators, artists and journalists. They are a source of pride in their country of origin, alma mater institutions and communities. Learning about their life journeys, I am energized about the potential of the next generation of women leaders in the community who have these role models.
As I review the profiles for Rising Beyond The Ceiling, I read about and talk to Muslim women of India, looking for what the achievers have in common. The many biases and barriers that have derailed women from exploring their full potential could fill pages. However, the bigger fascination for me is not the women who were stopped, but those who refused to be slowed down. And what does that say about what we all can do going forward. While all women achievers are distinctive and individualistic, I see some common pointers emerging. Most achievers have a supportive person or mentor at some point in their lives, whom they mention in different ways – father, mother, spouse, mostly family – who was instrumental in their career selection and/or pursuance. Many women pursued a childhood dream which carried them through failure and disappointment to keep trying and finally succeed. There are stories of taking on professional careers later in life after marriage and motherhood, because of responsibilities after the loss of a spouse or after exploring different professions. Several faced brickbats and backlash but were firm in their belief which helped them continue in their chosen path. RBTC honorees tend to redefine themselves as individuals without limitations of gender stereotypes, and this belief was also encouraged and supported in their families. The whole world doesn’t need to be on the side of Muslim women achievers, and it almost never is. But one mentor, or teacher or parent or spouse offering encouragement is vital.
I continue to learn about and from Muslim women of India. They diversify my perspectives and reiterate that Muslim women are heterogeneous, and not a monolith. As we take charge of the new narrative, inspired by these stories of success, and recognizing the tenacity of women, let us start shedding the narrow definitions of success and of us, Muslim women of and from India. Change occurs slowly, but it does occur. I feel we are making progress….
Farah K. UsmaniFounder & ChairpersonRising Beyond The Ceiling August 2023
We celebrate all the one hundred honorees, each having their unique story of exemplary resilience and accomplishments in various fields. They tell stereotype shattering stories from across 25 states of the United States, Connecticut to California, Florida to Washington State, Montana, Minneapolis, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland to Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and of course New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia, among others. They have displayed leadership in a range of areas: They are shattering stereotypes in government departments and agencies, are change makers in social development, making a difference in medicine, dentistry and nursing, achieving excellence in academics, demonstrating leadership in the corporate, finance, banking and legal sectors, taking strides in science/STEM, making an impact as founders and entrepreneurs, are award winning authors, writers, and poets, administering quality education, and are creative contributors to the arts and media.
Alumni from over 40 Educational Institutions in India
All hundred honorees have studied at Indian educational institutions in the cities of Allahabad, Aligarh, Amravati, Baroda, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mysuru, Manipal, Mangalore, Mumbai, Patna, Pilani, Ranchi, Srinagar, Vellore, others and obtained their degrees in a range of subjects prior to moving to the US. They have PhDs, masters, bachelors and other qualifications from these institutions. They are a source of pride to their country of origin, alma mater institutions and communities in the USA.
100 Inspiring Muslim Women from India in the United States ( alphabetical order)
Making a Mark in Government
Working at the US Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the US Air Force as well as at national government agencies like the Centers of Disease Control , National Aeronautical and Space Agency, National Institutes of Health, these seven inspiring Muslim women achievers are experts in science, nuclear physics, astrophysics, biochemistry, technology, mathematics, statistics, finance and also include US military’s first India-born female Muslim chaplain. They are alumni of Indian educational institutions like the hundred-year-old Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Bombay University, Mumbai, Central School, Kanpur. They are contributing as Chiefs, Program Scientists, Mathematical Statisticians, Scientific Review Experts and Chief Accountants.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. DIBA KHAN. Mathematical Statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Research and Methodology, Hyattsville, Maryland. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. HASHIMA HASAN, Programme Scientist NASA Headquarters. Washington D.C. USA. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Hashima’s family played a major role in shaping her interest in science. Her great uncle Dr. Husain Zaheer was a former Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India. She recalls that her mother had complete faith in her and was a driving force who pushed her to pursue her ambitions.
Hashima graduated with a BSc degree from Lucknow University and went on to pursue a master’s and M. Phil. degree from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), graduating as a Gold Medalist. Post that, she received the Commonwealth Scholarship and joined the University of Oxford, U.K., where she received a doctorate in Theoretical Nuclear Physics. Hasan has published articles in various peer reviewed journals, such as the Astrophysical Journal, Icarus, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Nuclear Physics B, Physical Review C, Atmospheric Science. She has been honored with prestigious awards and fellowships throughout her outstanding career, including the India Community Center (Milpitas, CA) Inspire Award in 2022, Aligarh Alumni Association New York’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022, a NASA Headquarters Exceptional Performance Award in 2008, a U.S. National Research Council Resident Research Associate from 1981-1983, Commonwealth Fellowship from 1973-1976 among others.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. NASEEM RANGWALA, Chief of the Astrophysics Branch at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Oakland, California. Alumna: Mumbai University, Mumbai India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Naseem Rangwala, PhD, works as the Chief of the Astrophysics Branch at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Naseem has also been serving as the NASA Project Scientist for the SOFIA airborne observatory since 2019, which ended science operations in September 2022. During her tenure on SOFIA, Naseem worked closely with NASA HQ, Ames and Armstrong center management, the German space agency, DLR, and the astrophysics community and advisory groups. Naseem’s current research focuses on observational astrochemistry. She is leading the effort to build a large database of observed molecular transitions from infrared space missions to enable a wide range of astrophysics and laboratory astrophysics applications. She led a large SOFIA observing campaign on the first high-resolution molecular line survey in the mid-infrared that has detected new molecular lines in the interstellar medium and is providing a key chemical inventory in the infrared – essential for studying chemical networks, understanding organic astrochemistry associated with star formation, and providing clues on supply pathways of key organic molecules from the ISM to exoplanets. Previously, she has led several observing programs using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the Herschel Space Observatory to characterize the molecular gas in the nuclear regions of luminous infrared galaxies.
Naseem grew up in Udaipur, India. At the age of 15, she got interested in space and that started her long journey from India to NASA Ames. Naseem arrived at Ames in January 2013 as a visiting postdoctoral scientist going on to become the NASA postdoctoral program fellow in 2015. In this role she performed research with the members of Ames astrophysics branch to identify new molecules in space using Ames generated quantum computational spectra. She is very passionate about communicating science to the public, especially students and educators, and creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in research
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. NILOFER PASHA. Statistician, Veterans Health Administration, United States Department of Veteran Affairs, Washington DC. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Nilofer Pasha is a Senior Statistician for Veterans Health Administration, US Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to that she worked for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, US Department of Health & Human Services, Washington DC. Nilofer has also worked as a Statistical Consultant for Binghamton University, and as the Team Lead Research Analyst, Data Steward, and Business Consultant for the State of Wisconsin.
Nilofer belongs to a very educated family, and this came with high expectations and responsibilities. Her father was Professor Sami Hameed at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh. Thus, when Nilofer found herself married soon after finishing her Pre-University, while still at Pre-Medical, at Aligarh Muslim University she felt highly inadequate and in her own words “jahilai mutalaq” (illiterate)! While supporting her husband in graduate school in the US and bringing up two small children by then, Nilofer set three personal goals for herself: 1. To get the best university education for herself, 2. Never to leave her kids with babysitters or in daycares while getting educated and 3. Take on as many leadership roles as she could while pursuing her education and taking care of her kids. She succeeded in all three of her goals. Nilofer graduated with three majors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received the Most Outstanding Returning Adult Student award, along with a research fellowship for studying mentorship relationships. During this time, she chaired and presided over numerous civic organizations in local government, at the university, and her children’s parent teacher organization, as well as received several fellowships and awards at the university.
A serious car accident kept her from completing her PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Not to be deterred by the PTSD from the accident, she decided to work for the State of Wisconsin as a Team Lead Research Analyst. Nilofer then followed up with a Master’s in public policy from Syracuse University in National Security, Counterterrorism and Health Policy and after receiving several offers, Nilofer decided to work as a Statistician for the US Federal Government. A strong believer in education, Nilofer has recently established two lifelong merit scholarships in her parents’ name for students at her alma mater, Aligarh Muslim University, India.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. RAHAT RANI KHAN, Scientific Review Officer & Health Scientist Administrator at National Institutes of Health (NIH): Potomac, Maryland, USA. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Rahat (Rani) Khan is a Scientific Review Officer and Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institute of Health (NIH) where she leads the evaluation of research grant applications and contract proposals submitted by small R&D companies and by individual scientists from across the country. Dr. Khan came to the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH in 2013 from the Center for Scientific Review, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse where she worked between2009 to 2012. Dr. Khan has received multiple awards at the NIH, including the 2021 NCATS Director's Award.
Dr. Khan moved to the USA in 1978 with her husband, on a post-doctoral fellowship but within two years, as their US visa was expiring, the couple moved to Montreal, Canada. Unable to secure a work permit on a spousal visa, Dr. Khan worked for three years as a volunteer Research Associate/post-doctoral fellow at McGill University and completed her Ph.D. project that was started in India, wrote her thesis, and went back to defend her thesis and obtained her Ph.D. Degree in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, India.
Rahat founded and served as President of GLP Solutions, a small company focused on the development of Pharma grade diagnostic kits. She became an Assistant Professor at Concordia University at a young age of 33, after completing two post-doctoral trainings, one at the Department of Experimental Medicine at McGill University and the other at the Royal Victoria Hospital, in Montreal, while also raising two infant children. Dr. Khan recalls her most challenging time leaving everything in Canada in 1999 to accompany her husband and move to United States and start all over again. Having school-aged children, she took a bold step and started and developed an income tax preparation franchise business to four locations in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She celebrated when in its fourth year, her business ranked among the top 10 franchises. Rahat is passionate about guiding young individuals on how to pay off their student loans. References/Sources
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SALEHA JABEEN, First Muslim Female Chaplain, United States Air Force, Department of Defense. Chicago, Illinois. Alumna: Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Saleha Jabeen, US military’s first India-born female Muslim chaplain, graduated from Air Force Basic Chaplain Course, on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama in February 2021. Ms. Jabeen is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, becoming the first female Muslim chaplain in the Department of Defense. Jabeen is passionate about her role as a chaplain and takes her duty as a spiritual mentor very seriously.
Saleha came to the United States 14 years ago as an international student. She completed her B. Com at Ville Marie Degree College for Women, Osmania University. Saleha did her BA in Business and Economics at North Park University, followed by an MA in Theology–Inter-religious Dialogue from Catholic Theological Union and course in counseling psychology from Trinity Christian College.
Ms. Jabeen is aware of the responsibility she has, to set an example and show that there is a place in the military for anyone who wants to serve. She did not have to compromise on any of her religious beliefs or convictions and says that she is surrounded with people who respect her and are willing to receive what she bring to the table as a woman, a faith leader, and an immigrant. Saleha gets to provide spiritual care to all servicemembers, guardians and families and advise the commanders on religious and moral matters regardless of her faith, ethnicity or gender.
Saleha believes that “We all have a purpose that is specifically meant for us to fulfill. We must listen to our heart and follow our conviction. It is important to have people in our lives who model that for us. Choose that kind of mentorship and choose good companionship. There is a ‘why’ for our existence and ultimately it is meant for us to be the best versions of ourselves. Commit to it, accomplish it and uplift others to do the same. Do all that needs to be done with kindness, generosity, resilience, and the grit to never quit.”
RBTC 100 USA Honoree . SHAMA BANO, Branch Chief/Team Lead Accountant at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Washington DC. United States . Alumna: Central School, Kanpur, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Shama Bano, a Certified Public Accountant, is the Branch Chief/Team Lead at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washington DC. As Lead Accountant, Shama is overseeing a Federal Financial Reporting Team for Financial Statements and GTAS reporting for the Risk Management Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and FARM Production and Conservation Business Center. Leading, Planning, and Goal Setting for a team of staff Accountants, overseeing reporting and preparation for three USDA agencies' Financial Statements. As a supervisory Accountant, plan and direct the financial, accounting, and reporting operation of USDA agencies. Shama previously served as a project manager at the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of USDA, where she led the federal government in various roles in financial management, IT systems development, and project/program management. She played a key role in implementing USDA’s enterprise grant management solution system which supports grant-making agencies and their 273 programs with $125 billion in funding.
Shama‘s husband played a major role in shaping her interest in accounting and leadership development as she had to manage education, a job, and raising a baby of two months when she moved to the United States at the age of 20 in 1993. She had a fervent desire to empower women. She recalls that her husband had complete faith in her and the US system to fulfill her ambition and dream.
Shama completed 12th grade from Central School (Kanpur), in 1990. She resumed studies in the USA in 1993 and received a BSc degree from the University of Maryland. From 1997 to 2008, She ran a successful SB & Tax Accounting firm and provided consulting services to multimillion-dollar industries. While serving on faith-based community organizations, she held multiple positions including the Board of Directors of the Muslim Community Center in Maryland, USA.
Change Makers in Social Development
The eight RBTC USA Honorees in this category are philanthropists, leaders of non-governmental organizations, social work and development experts, socio-political activists, and social auditors who are supporting causes from women's empowerment, health, school education, Islamic education and others in the US, their home countries and globally. They are alumni of Indian educational institutions like the Maharaja Siyajirao University, Baroda, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, Lucknow University, Lucknow, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, Alexandria High School, Mumbai, Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ANJUM MALIK. Executive Director Global Impact Initiative and Managing Partner Alhambra US Chamber. Austin, Texas. Alumna: The Maharaja Siyajirao University, Baroda, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Anjum Malik is an educational entrepreneur, a tenacious leader, a practical problem solver, a resource wizard, a collaborator, and a connector. She currently serves as Executive Director, Global Impact Initiative (Gii) and Managing Partner at the Alhambra US Chamber. Gii is a nonprofit that empowers vulnerable and at-risk communities globally through education, mentoring and job skills training that builds generational stability and wellbeing. The Chamber promotes international education partnerships globally.
Anjum is a fierce advocate for women's empowerment and is committed to promoting educational opportunities, helping students find purpose and passion. The organizations she has created and managed have enhanced the global competence of more than 190,000 students and hundreds of professionals from 60+ countries. Using her experience, creativity and leadership, the innovative programs she leads at Gii have helped amplify the voices and needs of the underserved, placed 401 refugees in jobs in 2022, provided mentoring and academic support to hundreds of at-risk students and helped 250+ refugee women build an entrepreneurial mindset. Recognition for the work she has accomplished has included two invitations to speak at the UN, appointment as "Honorary Ambassador" for the Polish network of Women's entrepreneurship by the 2015 European Congress, membership of the Chamber in President Obama's "Partners for a New Beginning Initiative," Associate to the World Learning Lab, Norway and speaking engagements at conferences and symposia around the world.
Anjum's core belief in the empowerment of the individual, the improvement of lives through access to education, and her ingrained sense of service has led from her master’s at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda to Austin, Texas in 1977, to now generously lighting the candle of hope for anyone in need across the world.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. BUSHRA SABRI. Scholarship in Social Work. Assistant Professor. John Hopkins University. School of Nursing. Baltimore, Maryland. Alumna: Centre of Women's Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University, India. Click side arrow for profile details
Bushra Sabri, PhD, MSW works as Assistant Professor Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Nursing, Baltimore. She is also Associated Faculty JHU, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Dr. Sabri’s research focuses on lifetime cumulative exposures to violence, including intimate partner violence and stress caused by experiencing health inequities, particularly among minority and immigrant women. She has led or co-led multiple funded research projects focusing on risk factors and health outcomes of interpersonal violence across the lifespan. Dr. Sabri’s recent work focuses on the intersecting epidemics of violence, HIV, mental health, and reproductive and sexual health problems among women; the role of physiological stress responses in coping; and developing and evaluating trauma-informed, culturally tailored interventions. Dr. Sabri’s has several substantive research publications to her credit and her goal is to develop interventions that contribute to reducing health disparities among vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized populations.
Bushra completed her B.Sc. honors in Home Science from Aligarh Muslim University, India. She has an MSW and PhD from the School of Social Work, University of Iowa. Dr. Sabri completed her post-doctoral work at John Hopkins University, School of Nursing. Prior to moving to the USA in 2003, Bushra worked as a Research Associate at V.V. Giri National Labor Institute, Noida and Project Officer at Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi.Bushra has received several awards and recognitions including the 2023 Fellow status at the Society for Behavioral Medicine, 2016-2021 Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), and 2011-2013 Post-doctoral Institutional National Research Service Award, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. She also received the 2010 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Fellowship. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and 2008 Graduate College Summer Fellowship Award and Diversity Tuition Scholarship, University of Iowa, Iowa City.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ISHRAT HUSAIN. ex-Senior Adviser, The World Bank HQ and US Agency for International Development. Bethesda, Maryland. Alumna: Lucknow University, Lucknow, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Ishrat Husain is an economist and has served in international organizations including the World Bank and US Agency for International Development. Ishrat worked at the World Bank for over 25 years starting in 1970. At the World Bank, she managed large lending portfolios in health and population. She helped formulate and implement Bank's policy and programs in population and health areas and managed its operations in Bangladesh and selected countries in East Asia, and Africa. She was the only Muslim woman to be appointed to that position at that time. Throughout her career, she retained her traditional dress. Sometimes in large meetings in a room full of men, she will be the only woman from a developing country. She had the challenge of making sure that she does make meaningful contributions to the work at the headquarters and at the country level.
After her retirement from the World Bank, US Agency for International Development (USAID) appointed her as Senior Health Adviser in Washington (1998- 2022). At USAID she promoted multisectoral programs, particularly for youth as well as building country capacities in health financing.
Mrs. Husain obtained her master's degree and doctorate in Economics from Lucknow University, India. She got a Population Council Fellowship for postdoctoral work at Princeton University. After completing her post-doctoral work, she worked as Deputy Director of a newly established Research Center at the University of Lucknow where she directed research and taught until she joined the World Bank in 1970.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. NILOUFER MEMON. Principal. The Bridgespan Group, New York. Alumna: Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Niloufer Memon is a Principal in The Bridgespan Group- a leading non-profit advisory firm that provides decision making support to philanthropists and non-profits across the world. Niloufer started her career in Bridgespan’s Mumbai office in 2017, she then moved to Johannesburg in 2019 as a founding member of Bridgespan’s first Africa office before moving to New York in 2021. Niloufer has advised organizations in India, the United States, Africa, UK, and SE Asia across several issue areas, including in education, sustainability, and healthcare on topics such as strategy development, systems change, capacity building and operating models. Her clients include CAMFED, WHO, Omidyar Network, Landesa, Mothers2Mothers, and National Geographic Society. She has also authored multiple thought leadership pieces on topics related to philanthropy, community engagement and social change.
Prior to joining Bridgespan, Niloufer worked at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Deloitte and KPMG as a strategy consultant and advised several healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Niloufer is deeply passionate about serving organizations that are working to address gender inequity in the global south.
Niloufer serves as an advisor in LedBy foundation – a nonprofit that provides mentorship to Muslim women in India with a vision to increase representation in the private sector- and to Step-By-Step, a women founded nonprofit helping rural artisans navigate an increasing online sales ecosystem.
Niloufer holds a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from BITS-Pilani in India. She lives in New York, and she speaks English and Hindi.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree , KHATIJA KAZI, Business leader and Philanthropist. Kazi Foods. California. USA. Alumna: St. Agnes Girls College, Mangalore India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Khatija Kazi was born in a small town of Bhatkal Karnataka India and spent her school and college years in Mangalore. She got married in 1973 and immigrated to the USA in 1974. Khatija and her husband embarked on their entrepreneurial journey in the United States in 1976, eventually becoming the second largest KFC franchisee with approximately 300 outlets. Over time, they expanded their business ventures to include Burger King and Pizza Hut franchises. Their entrepreneurial spirit led them to eventually diversify to currently own around 100 franchises and invest in various industries such as biomedical imaging, whole food-based supplements, real estate, aquaculture, and oil and gas companies.
Working together, Kazi and Khatija strived for excellence in their operations. Upon their arrival, they encountered a challenging situation where the store was unclean, and the food quality was subpar. The Kazis took immediate action by cleaning the store and focusing on the cooking process, and went to great lengths to satisfy their customers,. Their meticulous attention to detail played a pivotal role in their success.
Despite their achievements, Kazi and Khatija remained deeply connected to their hometown of Bhatkal and were committed to its welfare. In 2012, at the age of 62, Khatija initiated the establishment of a women's center spanning 25,000 sq. ft. in Bhatkal. This center aimed to bring out the talents of women in the small town by offering computer and other skill building courses, They also focused on training individuals in customer service and offering experiences in micro-entrepreneurship, empowering the community to become more productive and engaged members of society. Khatija actively supported local and global initiatives that aimed to educate, empower, and protect various segments of society.
Khatija Kazi and her husband demonstrated remarkable dedication and perseverance in building a successful business in the United States. They not only achieved financial success but also remained committed to the betterment of their hometown and the empowerment of its residents, particularly women. Their story is a testament to the power of hard work, attention to detail, and giving back through community engagement.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree SHAMIM DAHOD, MD Philanthropist. Andover, Massachusetts. New England Choice Award for Philanthropy. Alumna: Alexandria High School, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details
Dr. Shamim Dahod, MD is an Internal Medicine Specialist in Andover, MA, and has over 34 years of experience in the medical field. In addition to practicing medicine, she supports charities and communities. She is a trustee of Boston University, Tuft Medicine’s Lowell General Hospital and Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Greater Lowell. She is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Boston University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Cancer Research and Care Advisory Board.
High School sweethearts and practicing Muslims from Mumbai, India, the Dahods moved to the United States in the early 1970’s to pursue married life and their educations. They are closely connected to Boston University: Shamim, now an Internist, earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1978, worked as a researcher in MED labs for five years and graduated with BU Medical degree in 1987.
The Dahods have quietly supported a number of causes. A few years ago, they gave $2 million gift for the creation of the Dahod Family Alumni Center in Boston University Castle. This gift was the couple’s second major contribution to the University. They gave $10.5 million to the BU School of Medicine in 2008 which established the Shamim and Ashraf Dahod Breast Cancer Research Center and endowed Assistant Professor and International Scholar positions there. She herself is a breast and thyroid cancer survivor. The couple also helped fund a six-story, 200,000-square-foot Dahod Building at Lowell General Hospital. They have supported Saifee Hospital in Mumbai among other health and education related projects.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree . SABA REYAZ, Serving Children with Special Needs. San Antonio , Texas USA Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details
Saba Reyaz completed her Mechanical Engineering degree from Aligarh Muslim University in 1995 and studied Software Technology at NIIT, Delhi. She moved from India first to Canada in 2005 and to the USA in 2010. Saba worked in India for Indian Market Research Bureau from 1999 to 2003 as Assistant Manager analysis where she was developing software and doing database management for research projects such as China ATP's (haircare, coffee, detergent), UNICEF, Care, Reckitt and Colman, Adidas among others. Saba first moved to Canada in 2005 and here joined the Canadian Govt Funded Organization Erinoakkids, switching careers to move into the field of community service with focus on children and their families. She interacted with children and their families assisting them with information on available programs, setting speech and language goals for young children with challenges.
In 2010 Saba came to the US from Canada and currently lives in San Antonio. She is passionate about children with special needs and works with several county organizations such as MAC, TWC providing support services to children with physical and developmental disabilities and connecting families to access required resources for their kids. She works for families moving to North America helping them access government programs and facilities available for new immigrants.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TALAT KHAN. Social Political Activist, Delegate/Representative Democratic Party, ex Captain US Air Force. Los Angeles, California. .Alumna: Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Talat Khan is a family physician by profession, who also served as Captain in the US Air Force. Dr. Khan has been a social and political activist for over three decades, and a delegate /Representative for the California Democratic Party since 2005 where she provided the Muslim voice and perspective in the political arena. She has also encouraged and helped people who are successful delegates now and Muslims to take up leadership positions. Through her advocacy, writing letters to the editor of various newspapers, creating awareness on the power of voting, Talat contributed to make changes for the country and foreign affairs. Talat was elected as a Delegate for the National Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton conventions. She has worked for the Democratic party from a grassroots level to leadership positions.
Talat moved to the US in 1975 after completing her medical studies and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, India. Talat was the recipient of a Gold Medal in my final year of Medical College and received the YWCA award for “Woman of Achievement.” She has been practicing as family physician in Log Angeles since 1977. In 2000 she co-founded the medical center, Al Shifa Clinic, to provide free medical services to communities in need and is currently its volunteer chairperson.
Talat’s heart is in community service, and she has provided shelter at her home for people from Bosnia and Iraq and have women and children needing housing who had been kicked out of their homes by their husbands. She has done fundraisers to help the destitute in her communities.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TASNEEMA K. GHAZI. Co-Founder IQRA Muslim Educational Foundation, ex-Professor of Reading, Language Arts and Child Development, Governor State University, Skokie, Illinois. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Tasneema Khatoon Ghazi is a highly accomplished Indian American educator and scholar. She completed her master’s degrees from Aligarh Muslim University and another from the University of London. She also possesses a post-graduate diploma in child development from Harvard. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota, specializing in Reading and Language Arts. She has taught at Governor State University (Illinois) and the University of Illinois Chicago.
Dr. Tasneema has been actively involved in North America’s Islamic weekend and full-time schools since her arrival in the United States in 1967. Her primary focus has been the development of affirmative curricula for Islamic Studies from kindergarten to high school. She has authored and edited over 300 textbooks, workbooks, and teacher manuals for Islamic education. Dr. Tasneema has conducted countless training seminars and workshops, sharing her expertise with Islamic schools.
Tasneema’s efforts have been widely recognized. She was awarded the prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Islamic Society of North America in 2007. She and her late husband, Dr. Abidullah Ghazi, have been recognized by the “500 Most Influential Muslims” for their pioneering work in Islamic education for several years.Dr. Tasneema’s unwavering dedication to Islamic education for youngsters has had a lasting impact. She is currently the CEO of IQRA’ International Educational Foundation (Skokie, IL).
Professionals in Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
The eleven honorees have a wide range of expertise from Ophthalmology, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Neurology, Anesthesiology, Nursing, Psychotherapy and Dentistry. They are Professors, Directors, Chiefs, Regional Managers and serving as President, Board of Directors, American Muslim Women Physicians Association. They are alumni of Indian medical institutions and universities from across the country- Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College; Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh; Hamdard University Delhi, Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Ranchi, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi , Science Centre for Dental Studies and Research, Murad Nagar; Christian Medical College, Vellore.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. BUSHRA RAHMAN, MD, MBA, MHSM. Internal Medicine physician at Providence Medical Group, Seattle, Washington. Alumna:. Hamdard University, New Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Bushra Rahman, MD, MBA, MHSM is currently employed as an Internal Medicine physician at Providence Medical Group, Seattle, Washington. Dr. Rahman has an extensive educational background that encompasses both clinical and non-clinical medicine with a focus on health management issues.
Dr. Rahman graduated from Aligarh Muslim University, India with bachelor’s in science and subsequently completed a master’s in business administration , (MBA) from Hamdard University, New Delhi, India. She then relocated to the USA and pursued a master’s in health Sector Management (MHSM) from Arizona State University (ASU), Arizona 2007. Subsequently she worked as a senior research associate for an industry-academic collaborative consortium at W. P. Carey School of Business, ASU, Arizona. Her research focused on complex health care supply chain issues. She collaborated with multiple health care entities including physicians, large academic medical centers and purchasing organizations including suppliers/distributors of health care devices to identify supply chain issues and improve processes. During this time, she published multiple papers including co-authoring a book chapter.
Dr. Rahman then decided to pursue her career in clinical medicine and received her MD from University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, 2017. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine from University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, 2020. During medical school she was actively involved in research and published case studies and articles focusing on hematology/oncology. Dr Rahman currently lives with her husband and children in Seattle, Washington. She also has pet cats that she enjoys spending time with.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. DEEBA HUSAIN. MD Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Co-Director of AMD Centre of Excellence, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Alumna: Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College. Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Deeba Husain MD is currently Associate professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director, AMD Center of Excellence. Dr. Husain is a clinician scientist who is involved in evaluating the pathogenesis of, and newer treatments for, macular degeneration. She is also involved in clinical trials of new therapies for retinal diseases. Her research has been well received and supported by research institutes world-wide and her work has been honored and awarded several times.
Deeba Husain is a full-time member of the Mass Eye and Ear Retina Service and the Site Director of Mass Eye and Ear Retina Consultants in Stoneham. She is a vitreoretinal specialist and certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. She also directs the Medical Retina Fellowship Program and International Retina fellowship at Mass Eye and Ear.
Dr. Husain attended medical school at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh, India. She has a master’s degree in surgery in Ophthalmology from Institute of Ophthalmology, Aligarh Muslim University. She subsequently completed Ophthalmology residency training at Harvard Medical School, followed by subspecialty surgical training as a vitreoretinal fellow at Mass Eye and Ear. She is a clinician with unique expertise in treating complex medical and surgical diseases of the retina. She has special clinical interest in age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly worldwide.
Dr. Husain is also Affiliated member of Society For All India Ophthalmic Society, Uttar Pradesh Ophthalmic Society, India, Federation of Ophthalmic Society, India, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, New England Ophthalmological Society, Retina Society and Mass Medical Society. She is also affiliated with AMD Centre of Excellence, Angiogenesis Laboratory, Diabetic Eye Disease Center of Excellence, Mobility Enhancement and Vision Rehabilitation Center of Excellence.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. FARHA KHAN, MD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Associate Programme Director, Department of Internal Medicine, Lafayette, Lousiana. Alumna: JN Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Farha Khan MD, MHA, is Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. She is also currently the Associate Program Director for the Department of Internal Medicine, Lafayette and Ambulatory Medical Director for Internal Medicine Clinics at the University Hospital and Clinics, Lafayette, Louisiana. Farha also serves on the Board of Trustees and Directors at the Episcopal School of Acadiana and at the Ochsner University Hospitals and Clinics.
Farha came to the United States in 1993 with her key life goal - to work hard and make something meaningful of her life and a difference in the lives of those around her. Her story is of not giving up despite setbacks and challenges in her personal life. Farha graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University in India where she completed her Doctor of Medicine.
Dr Khan did her fellowship at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park in Durham NC and her residency program in Internal Medicine at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Dr. Khan has over twenty years of clinical experience, which includes ten years of teaching and an additional two years of research work. Farha is ABIM certified and received the 1995 Chairman’s award in Internal Medicine during her time at Lutheran General Hospital.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. RESHMA KHAN, MD. Director of ICNA Health services, Charleston, North Carolina Alumna: Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Reshma Khan is national Director of Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Health services as well as founder and Medical Director of Shifa Free clinic, a chapter of ICNA Relief in South Carolina. Born and raised in Bhopal India, Reshma did her medical studies in India from Gandhi Medical College in Bhopal and moved to the USA in 1999. She did her OB/GYN residency in Saint Elizabeth Youngstown OH and moved to Charleston South Carolina working at the VA hospital.
At the VA hospital Reshma was exposed to a different set of patient populations with many social issues and felt a deep connection with them. After 3 years of tireless efforts, and many failures and obstacles, she started The Shifa Free Clinic in 2012 with ICNA Relief, which serves the uninsured and below poverty line persons. The clinic was founded on a very small scale in a small 800 sq. foot facility with only gynecological service that Dr. Khan herself provided alone while she was raising three children and working at Ralph Johnson VA medical center. Over the years Dr. Khan has transformed the clinic into a full-time 5000 sq foot facility with 13 staff members providing multispecialty services including primary care, OB/GYN, pediatrics, mental health, vision, and dermatology. It has an on-site dispensary and vaccinations for adults and children. In just over a decade of service, the clinic grew from a $25,000 budget to a now $800K , from $0 in- kind donations to close to 4 million dollars in 2022. Dr. Khan was hired as national director of ICNA Relief Health services to model the clinic in 7 other states in 2019.
In recognition of her efforts, Dr. Khan has received the Presidential Lifetime achievement award, the 2017 Nonprofit Leader Award from Trident United Way and the 2017 Leadership Diversity Award from Sisters of Charity Foundation. The Mayor of Charleston has also proclaimed 23 August 2017, as Dr. Reshma Khan Day. She has been featured in various articles by The Post and Courier and has received the Everyday Hero Award by Count 2 News. Dr. Khan has also been named as one of the 10 trailblazers in South Carolina by the Women’s Right and Empowerment network.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SAROSH RANA, MD Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief, Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Chicago. Chicago, USA. Alumna: JN Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Click side arrow for profile details
Dr. Sarosh Rana MD, MPH, is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief, Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Chicago who cares for women with high-risk pregnancies and is an expert in the diagnosis and management of preeclampsia — a condition characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy. Rana is also currently the director of an OBGYN Transitional Research Fellowship.
She heads the Rana Preeclampsia Laboratory whose long-term goal is to contribute to the reduction, if not the elimination, of the terrible outcomes associated with preeclampsia. Dr. Rana aims to improve maternal and fetal outcomes through use of systematic evidence-based management protocols and research on preeclampsia. Her research over the last several years has focused on demonstrating clinical utility for angiogenic biomarkers in prediction of adverse outcomes among women with preeclampsia. She is particularly interested in elucidating the role of angiogenic biomarkers in the prediction of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Rana trains residents and fellows on the use of ultrasound imaging, as well as the management of women with complex pregnancies.
Sarosh is an alumna of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim, University, India where she completed her MD in Obstetrics & Gynecology in 1999 and moved to the USA. Sarosh did her residency in general surgery at Mayo Clinic Rochester in 2001 and in OB/GYN from University of Chicago in 2005 and her Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She also has an MPH from Harvard University in Clinical Effectiveness.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SEEMA ADHAMI. MD MRCP (UK). Pediatric Neurologist, Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Service and Chief, Division of Pediatric Neurology. University of Massachusetts Medical School. Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. Alumna: JN Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Seema Adhami is a pediatric neurologist and is Chief of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Massachusetts, T.H. Chan Medical School. Dr. Adhami is affiliated with multiple hospitals in Worcester, Massachusetts and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Dr. Adhami is Associate Professor of Pediatric Neurology and currently Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Service University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Boston. In pediatric neurology she treats disorders of the brain in children, including headaches, seizures, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders and neuromuscular disease. Dr. Adhami is associated with UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital and UMass Memorial Medical Center. Seema is the recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Clinical Service Award recognizing women faculty of Chan Medical School for excellence across career spectrum.
Dr. Adhami MBBS, MD, DNB, MRCP (U.K) completed her medical studies at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University in 1983 and moved to U,K. She has an MRCP from United Kingdom where she worked before coming to the USA. Seema completed her residency and fellowship program at New England Medical Center and St Louis Children's Hospital.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SHAHEDA B. AKHTAR. MD. Child Psychiatrist. Medical Director, University Behavioral Center Orlando, Florida. Alumna: Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Jamshedpur. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Shaheda Akhtar, MD is a Medical Director at University Behavioral Center, Orlando Florida. Dr. Akhtar is a Child Psychiatrist who specializes in treating individuals dealing with trauma and is Associate Professor Department of Psychiatry at the College of Medicine Orlando. She has 48 years of experience in the medical field.
Born and raised in Indore Madhya Pradesh, India in a traditional Muslim family. Shaheda’s father was resident officer for state of Indore during the British period in India. She was seven years old when he passed away suddenly, and her life changed drastically. Her family went through extreme financial difficulties but all through her education she had strong support from her family and teachers.
After finishing her medical education from Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Ranchi University in 1974 in India, Shaheda moved to U.S. with her husband who is also a medical doctor and their three-year-old daughter. Shaheda did her residency and fellowship in North Carolina, and she has been practicing child psychiatry since then.
Being aware of hardship and poverty, Shaheda always wanted to help people in need, in addition to providing medical care. In Orlando, she and her friends established a non-profit organization to help Victim of Domestic Violence where they provide emotional and financial support for mothers and children. Shaheda is the Founder –President of American Muslim Women for education and empowerment and Founder and President of Al Maaoon Inc. Her family has set up the educational and financial aid programs for students in need from kindergarten to professional schools in Pune, Indore, Akola, and Aurangabad, India. Dr. Akhtar is very thankful to be able to do this and volunteer at Healing Clinic to provide Mental Health care for patients with no insurance. She describes her husband as her best support, best friend, and partner in her medical career as well as non-profit work.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TAHOORA KAWAJA MD, Internal Medicine Specialist. Lifebridge Health Inc., Owings Mill, Maryland. Alumna: Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Tahoora Kawaja is a meritorious Internist/ Primary Care Physician in Owings Mills, a suburb of Baltimore, MD. She is a practicing physician for the last 43 yrs. She is currently affiliated with Life Bridge Inc, a large multi-specialty organization of Physicians. During her practice, she sees a large number of patients from diverse communities.
Dr. Kawaja is a graduate of medicine from the Lady Harding Medical College, New Delhi, India. She is Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. She has been associated as an internist/ primary care physician with Northwest Hospital, Randallstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years, and was a member of their Board for four years. She has been functioning as a Preceptor for the medical students at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Medical School for the last 10 years. Dr Tahoora is a lifetime member of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and Islamic Medical Association of North America.
Tahoora grew up in Delhi. As a young girl, she was encouraged by her family to excel in education and competitions. Through her school and college years she regularly participated in national events like India's Independence Day and Republic Day. Her father used to make her volunteer frequently in charitable activities at the "Bachon Ka Ghar", an orphanage in Darya Gang, Delhi. She visits the institution and spends time with the young boys and girls on all her visits to India. In addition to her medical practice, Dr Kawaja has been serving as a volunteer physician at the Free Medical Clinic of the Muslim Community Center, Silver Spring, Maryland for over 20 years. This Medical Clinic serves uninsured patients, regardless of religion, ethnicity, and race. She has been the Chair of the Board of the medical clinic for one year and the Chair of the Medical Executive Committee for over five years. Dr Kawaja has also served as a volunteer physician in many public service organizations including the Howard County, Maryland Health Fair (1990), the Baltimore County, Maryland schools (1988), the ISNA convention, Washington DC (2000).
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TAZEEN BEG, MD Clinical Anesthesiologist at Stony Brook University Medical Centre, Long Island, New York. Alumna: JN Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Tazeen Beg is Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology, and Division Chief, Non-Operating Room Anesthesia Department of Anesthesiology Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University Medical Centre, New York. Dr. Beg is the first Division Chief of Non-Operating Room Anesthesia (NORA) at the hospital and was instrumental in its evolution. She provides peri-operative care for patients during surgeries at the Main Hospital, Ambulatory Surgery Center, and ELIH. She has experience of more than 20 years of work at Stony Brook.
Tazeen’s interests are focused on resident teaching and improving the safety of patients in the Endoscopy Unit and other areas outside the operating room. Dr. Tazeen Beg is a full-time faculty member at Stony Brook, where she treats patients and is involved with medical education and leading-edge research. Dr. Beg has several research publications to her credit in various aspects including intervention endoscopy and work with COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Tazeen has also expertise in COVID airways; general anesthesiology; anesthesia for endoscopy; ambulatory anesthesiology; trauma and coronavirus. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Beg became a frontline worker on the Airway Team, intubating patients across the hospital. She worked 12-hour shifts for seven days at a time while wearing a surgical gown, scrubs, a hood, three pairs of gloves, an N95 mask and a surgical mask.
Dr. Beg is Vice President of Aligarh Medical Alumni Association of North America (AMAANA). Dr Tazeen delivered the first Oration Lecture titled 'Anesthesia for Endoscopic Procedures' in memory of Professor Tosifa Z Khan, founding Chairperson of the Department of Anesthesiology. Tazeen completed her medical studies, MBBS and in 1994 MD in Anesthesiology from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Aligarh Muslim University, India and worked as Resident in Department of Anesthesiology at Aligarh. Dr. Beg moved to the United States and completed her Residency at the Department of Anesthesiology from SUNY Stony Brook, New York between 2001-2004.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ZAINAB KHAN, Dentist, Chief Clinical Officer & Co-Founder of A2Z Dental Group. South Windsor, Connecticut. USA Alumna: Institute of Technology and Science Center for Dental Studies and Research, Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Zainab Khan, DMD, is a highly accomplished dental professional and the Chief Clinical Officer/Co-Founder of A2Z Dental Group. Dr. Khan leads a team of dental professionals and oversees clinical operations. Dr. Khan's commitment to excellence is evident through her recognition as an active member of American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Massachusetts Dental Society, International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and Valley District. Her expertise lies in aesthetic as well implant dentistry, where she continually evaluates and implements innovative treatments to provide High quality care to her patients.
Zainab has been honored with various awards, including the Presidential Scholar Award at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. She was also selected for an elective placement program at the School of Dental Sciences, University of Melbourne in Australia. Zainab completed an externship at the Pediatric Dentistry clinic at the Boston Children’s Hospital. She has contributed to a groundbreaking research publication titled "Pericyte depletion results in hypoxia-associated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and metastasis mediated by the MET signaling pathway" in Cancer Cell. This study shed light on the role of pericyte depletion in promoting tumor metastasis through the activation of the MET signaling pathway.
Dr. Zainab Khan possesses a diverse educational background, beginning with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the Institute of Technology and Science Center for Dental Studies and Research in India. She completed a Doctor of Medical Sciences program in Oral Biology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where she delved into the intricacies of oral biology and its implications for oral health and disease. Dr. Khan also has a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from Boston University Henry and Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ZARIN KIDWAI, MD. President, Board of Directors, American Muslim Women Physicians Association. Internal Medicine Specialist. Parkland Health, Garland, Texas. USA Alumna: Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Zarin Kidwai is a practicing physician in Texas. Her life began in Aligarh, India where she started education in Abdullah Nursery. Her family soon moved to Delhi, and she had the opportunity to attend some elite liberal schools, Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and Lady Irwin. Inspired by her siblings, Zarin decided to become a physician. She joined one the premium medical colleges of India, Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore.
Zarin’s medical education was not just about the science of healing. At CMC her education had a heavy emphasis on community service. After getting Master of Surgery in Ophthalmology from Aligarh Muslim University Institute of Ophthalmology, India, she moved to the USA in 1993 where she completed 3 years of residency in Internal Medicine.
The medical fraternity and allocation of residency in 1993 was somewhat more challenging than it is today. Specialties such as Ophthalmology were highly competitive and almost unattainable. Having spent 7 years practicing eye surgery she took up the new challenge of going back to her medical schoolbooks and realigning her career in Internal Medicine. Zarin Kidwai has broken many barriers to get to where she is now. Arriving in a strange country all alone, changing specialization and establishing here without the support of a spouse or family.
Currently working at Parkland Health in Dallas county as staff physician, Zarin Kidwai has amassed the largest panel of patients in the system. Dr Kidwai has been involved in diabetes self-management classes for over 12-13 years. Zarin has been volunteering her services at charity clinics in Plano, Richardson, and Allen areas. For the last 7 years she has served on the board of American Muslim Woman Physician Association (AMWPA). She is currently the president of board of AMWPA. AMWPA is perhaps one and only of its kind organization for Muslim woman physicians. The organization provides mentoring and confidence building. Monetary scholarships are also given to needy students as they pursue training for a career in healthcare. Being at the helm of an organization whose goal is to reduce healthcare disparity Dr Kidwai engages in the community through charity work and other social work that may benefit society regardless of their faith.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TAHERA ISMAIL. Regional Nursing Manager/Adjunct Nursing Professor. Long Island, New York. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, AMU Aligarh. Click side arrow for profile details
Tahera Ismail is currently working as a Case Manager at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow New York. Tahera has been in nursing practice since 1993 as a registered nurse with a bachelors, masters, and Doctorate in Nursing Practice.
Tahera completed her bachelor’s in chemistry honors from Aligarh Muslim University, India in 1975. She grew up in Tanzania where her family, originally migrated from Gujarat, India. Following her marriage, Tahera moved to the United Arab Emirates where she worked at UAE telecommunication company Etisalat in Administration. Tahera and her family moved to the USA in 1985 to pursue business opportunities. Being passionate in the health field always, she took up nursing and graduated associate in 1992 from Nassau Community College and completed a master’s in nursing with certification in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in 1997 from Stony Brook University. Tahera worked in various areas of nursing including Surgery, Pediatrics, Pediatric ICU, ED which she did mostly night shifts so that she could be with her children during the daytime. In 2005 Tahera went on to work as a Nurse Consultant at one of the largest home care agencies, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, as Nurse Manager, Regional Clinical Manager and later Clinical Supervisor.
Tahera’s eldest daughter, now 41 years, is a practicing child psychiatrist. When Tahera’s children completed their college she went back to college for her doctorate in nursing practice which she graduated in 2015 from Capella University. Tahera has also been an adjunct professor teaching Community Health Nursing at Hunter College NY, Long Island University NY and Clinical Professor at St. Luke's School of Nursing in Bethlehem, PA. She also trained students for the NCLEX Nursing License examination @ KAPLAN. While Tahera had challenges along the way especially starting a new career of nursing while her twins were only years old, she had great support from her late husband. Tahera has been a strong advocate for young people to enter the field of nursing and advise them on academic challenges, resources, and benefits of the profession.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ZAHERA HUSAINI, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. Adjunct Faculty with Kent State University and Madonna University. Detroit, Michigan, USA. Alumna: Delhi University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Zahera Hussaini moved to the United States 25 years ago in 1998. Her initial euphoria, associated with the life changing move to America, died very soon. She was on H4 visa, and it provided limited options. Although the future seemed bright, Zahera was very sad and unhappy with no sense of self-worth. As an immigrant, she had an identity crisis to be relegated only as someone’s wife, mother.
Zahera completed her schooling from Aligarh Muslim University Girls High school, and her graduate and post-graduate degrees from Delhi University. In Michigan, as soon as her work permit was approved, she started working in Oakland Community College as Academic Literacy Coordinator, teaching and mentoring students but it left her unsatisfied as work was limited. Zahera decided to go back to school and became a Trauma Certified Critical Care Nurse. She signed a two-year bond with the State of Michigan that after graduation and licensing will work as a Registered Nurse (RN) in Michigan. As an RN, Zahera was employed in Trauma and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Units. She worked at Henry Ford Hospital Main Campus, with world class surgeons, admitted fresh Heart and Lung Transplants, and worked with modern life saving technology. Still, she wanted to learn more and went back to do her master’s and is now a Board-Certified Nurse Practitioner. For the last 9 years Zahera has worked as a Mid-Level Provider in a busy practice. She mentors Student Nurse Practitioners and has worked as an Adjunct faculty while mentoring students from Kent State University and Madonna University.
Zahera says that nursing is her profession ,it gave her a sense of worth, identity, and friends for a lifetime. There will always be a sense of loss, and trauma of leaving home/country for immigrants, but her profession helped her reclaim my self-worth and identity. She has seen it all in the eyes of the patients: Happiness, pain, sadness, tears, denial, apathy, loss, and many other emotions. As a nurse she feels she touches so many lives and every interaction leave a little imprint on her soul.
Excellence in Academics
The academic honorees are alumni from reputed educational institutions in India such as the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, Bombay University, Lucknow University, Aligarh Muslim University, Allahabad University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru. They are professors in different aspects of science/STEM, humanities, and media, recognized as noteworthy biophysicists, dedicated to addressing life-threatening pulmonary conditions, addressing complex issues of Urdu literary culture, delving in the Science of the Brain, scholarship in electrical & computer engineering, taking forward biotechnology management, deep scholarship in speech sciences & bilingualism, communicating across cultural divides, dedicated behavioral neuroscientist and with lifetime of scholarship serving as professor emeritus. They are shining in teaching, research, and service.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ABIDA MUKARRAM. Professor of Computer Science. Sacramento City College. California. Alumna: Bombay University, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Abida Mukarram, PhD, is Professor of Computer Science at Sacramento City College. California. Dr. Mukarram designs creative education solutions for industry as well as learners. Blending traditional and online learning spaces to create custom learning programs that drive motivation and performance is her primary goal. Integrating multimedia content and educational games into the curriculum is a core part of Abida's teaching program. She has a special interest in STEM education for women.
Prior to moving to the US, Abida worked as a Software Engineer with CMC Limited in India. Abida completed her master’s in computer science from Bombay University and then went to Oxford , UK on a scholarship to do her PhD in Semantics ( an area related to artificial intelligence ). In 1987, as a young software professional in India, Abida Ghori was at a crossroad in her life with a choice of higher education opportunity in both the UK and US. She set off to Oxford to work towards a PhD in computer science. However, twelve years later, she got the opportunity to travel that other fork that led to the United States, but this time as a mother of three. Her next twenty years were spent relishing the company of her children and watching them grow and prosper. To be part of their journey of homeschooling, exploring, and learning to be proud of their Indian culture and identity was very fulfilling for her.
Giving back and sharing is what Abida feels she learned as part of a strong work ethic growing up in India. Tutoring students was always a fulfilling experience for her. To see the “Aha” moment and to demystify Math and Computer Science for young teenagers had always been rewarding. One thing led to another and before she knew it, her passion to light the lamp of learning led her to teach computer science formally at community college. Abida reminisces that it has been a circle – to learn computer science in India at a time when it was such a new field globally and had very few women in the industry – and to teach it in the United States at an exciting time in the field as an Indian female professor to a diverse community of aspiring software professionals as she had once been.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ANJUM ANSARI, Professor of Physics, University of Illinois, Chicago. Alumna: IIT Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Anjum Ansari PhD is a Professor of Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research field is in biological physics. Dr. Ansari is a pioneer in developing advanced fluorescence spectroscopy tools designed to illuminate how the conformations and thermal fluctuations (the ever-changing shapes) of biological macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA) dictate how these molecules interact with each other to perform their cellular functions. Dr. Ansari has a long and impressive record of scholarship in this area with over 5200 citations of her publications. She is a recipient of several recognitions including the National Science Foundation CAREER award (1998), UIC Teacher Recognition Program Award (2001), UIC Chancellor’s Discovery Fund (2012-2014), and UIC Liberal Arts and Sciences Faculty Award (2013). She was listed as a noteworthy biophysicist by Marquis Who's Who (2000).
Dr. Ansari is a passionate advocate for promoting gender equity in academia – about half her mentees have been women. As only the second woman hired by the UIC Physics Department and the first to become full professor there, she is at the front lines of conversations around spousal hires, work-life balance, and pervasive issues of unconscious biases. In her role as facilitator for Women in Science and Engineering System Transformation (WISEST) program aimed at improving the climate for UIC women faculty in these disciplines, she conducted much-needed bias awareness trainings for search committees and promotion-and-tenure committees.
Anjum was a National Science Talent Merit Scholar in India (1976-1981). She received a combined BS/MS in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the IITD Director's medal for best undergraduate student in Physics (1981). She received her PhD in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1988) and her postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland (1988-1993), prior to joining UIC faculty (1994). In her spare time, Anjum enjoys films, reading, painting, and pottery.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ASMA ZAIDI. Neuroscientist. Professor of Biochemistry at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), Kansas City, Missouri Alumna: Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow University, Uttar Pradesh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Asma Zaidi, M.S., M.Phil., Ph.D. is a Professor of Biochemistry at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), Kansas City, Missouri. She is also a Neuroscientist and the Vice Chair of the Basic Science Department at KCU. Dr. Zaidi has had the privilege of working in four different continents over the course of her career. She completed her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Aligarh Muslim University, her M.S. from Lucknow University and her B.S. from Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. Shortly after obtaining her Ph.D., she received a prestigious research fellowship to work at the L’Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in Paris, France. Next, she was awarded a Visiting Scientist fellowship to work at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Dr. Zaidi came to the United States in 1996 to work on an NIH-funded research project on brain aging at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Her travels and work in different countries was exciting but not without challenges. In order to immerse herself and her family into diverse cultures, she had to learn French and Portuguese. Her faith was instrumental in helping her navigate through the complexities of raising a family and developing a career simultaneously.
Dr. Zaidi received the “Educator of the Year” award in 2022 at KCU, an award given to a faculty member who excels in research, teaching, and service. Dr. Zaidi’s research focusses on studying the biochemical mechanisms underlying brain dysfunction in aging and in neurodegenerative and psychological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, and Depression. Dr. Zaidi enjoys teaching medical and graduate students. Her teaching methods utilize innovative, state-of-the-art techniques for adult learners. Dr. Zaidi’s students refer to her as the “gold standard” in their evaluation of her teaching. In her free time, Dr. Zaidi teaches the Quran Tafseer to an international women’s group and plays an active role in interfaith work through her affiliation with the Islamic Center of Lawrence, Kansas.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. FABEHA FAZAL. Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, School of Medicine and Dentistry. Rochester, New York. Alumna; Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Fabeha Fazal, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester. After obtaining her PhD in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, she moved to Chicago in 1992. She completed her postdoctoral/junior faculty training at Loyola University Medical Center and at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Fabeha has been an active researcher and teacher for the past 30 years, focusing on lung diseases in neonates and adults. She is particularly interested in understanding the pathogenesis of Acute Lung Injury, as well as its more severe form, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome which are life threatening pulmonary inflammatory conditions, affecting over a quarter of a million patients in the U.S every year, with mortality rates of approximately 25-40%. The overarching goal of Dr. Fazal’s lab is to identify therapeutic targets to resolve lung injury in patients. Dr. Fazal has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. She has been awarded grants from the American Lung Association and National Institute of Health. She serves as a Principal Investigator (PI), co-PI, and co-investigator on many NIH-funded grants and as a reviewer for study sections at the Department of Defense and NIH. Dr. Fazal enjoys mentoring postdocs and junior faculty in career development.
In addition to her work in science, Dr. Fazal is passionate about service and social justice. Since 1995, she has been actively involved in her community through various leadership roles. She served on the Islamic Center of Rochester’s Board of Directors for over 10 years. She is a member of the Civic Engagement Committee; whose goal is to provide civic education and bridge the gap in the Greater Rochester Area both in political and non-political ways. Currently, she serves as the Chairperson for Barakah Muslim Charity - a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve the underserved, irrespective of race, religion, or ethnicity. Dr. Fazal is a mom to three beautiful children. She resides with her husband in Rochester, New York.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. MEHR AFSHAN FAROOQUI. Professor of Urdu and South Asian Literature at the University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia. Alumna: Allahabad University, Allahabad, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Mehr Afshan Farooqi grew up in Allahabad, India. A multiple gold medalist from Allahabad University in India, Farooqi is currently Professor of Urdu and South Asian Literature at the University of Virginia. Her research publications address complex issues of Urdu literary culture particularly in the context of modernity. She is interested in bilingualism and how it impacts creativity. Farooqi is also a well-known translator, anthologist, and columnist. She is the editor of the pioneering two-volume work, The Oxford India Anthology of Modern Urdu Literature (2008). More recently she has published the acclaimed monograph, The Postcolonial Mind, Urdu Culture, Islam and Modernity in Muhammad Hasan Askari (New York, Palgrave and New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2013). Farooqi writes a featured column on Urdu literature past and present in Dawn. She has recently published, Ghalib: A Wilderness at my Doorstep, A Critical Biography (Penguin/Allen Lane/ January 2021). She is currently working on her second book on Ghalib.
Mehr came to the US in 1998 with a PhD in Indian Medieval History. She had a temporary position in the Department of South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She taught courses in Indian history, Indo-Persian, Urdu poetry, and Hindi. There were no positions in Medieval Indian History. Mehr reinvented herself by moving her focus from history to literature, or history of north Indian literatures particularly the convoluted literary history of Urdu and Hindi. She did some important translations from Urdu literary criticism and opened new paths of accessing Urdu literary history.
Mehr was offered a position to teach Urdu and Hindi literature at the University of Virginia in 2003. Following the well-known dictum “publish or perish” Mehr’s publishing trajectory was impressive. Mehr Farooqi’s success in academia is exemplary. Her regular column published in the widely circulated English newspaper Dawn has garnered her a large following of readers and recognition across South Asia
RBTC100 USA Honoree . NASEEM ANSARI . PhD, Professor Emeritus. Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Department of Opthamology. The University of Texas Medical Branch. Galveston, Texas. Alumna; Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Naseem Ansari, PhD. Is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She has been at UTMB since 1976 starting as a student and Research associate and gradually rose up to the rank of Professor. She retired in 2019 at which time UTMB honored her with the Emeritus status based upon her more than four decades of service to the university and outstanding achievements in research and teaching.
Naseem comes from a highly educated family. She was born in Lucknow at the “Speaker’s House” on the day of EID at the time when her father Sheikh Nafisul Hasan was the Speaker of Uttar Pradesh Assembly. She started her schooling at Allahabad and went to Aligarh Muslim University for higher studies. She got married to Dr. Shakeel Ansari in 1974 and they moved to the USA in the same year. When Naseem was in the 4th standard in school, she was inspired by the story of Florence Nightingale and wished to be like her. She was selected for admission in the Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi. However, she got delayed in completing her admission formalities. She thinks that fate was with her otherwise she would not have met her soulmate, Shakeel. Both of them being in the same profession have supported each other and enjoyed their academic lives.
Naseem’s research has revolved around elucidating the biochemical mechanisms of inborn errors of metabolism and oxidation-and inflammation-induced pathologies, such as diabetes, ocular pathologies, sarcopenia, cancer, burn injuries etc. Throughout her research career she has been successful in bringing millions of dollars of funding from Federal agencies, private sector and foundations. To her credit she has over 150 peer reviewed publications and 120 presentations in various meetings. She has been a federal grant reviewer, journal reviewer and editorial board member. She has received various prestigious awards throughout her education and career. Naseem takes immense pride in her mentoring activities as she has been able to shape up the careers of several students, junior faculty and medical students, both at the professional and personal level. Naseem thinks that although she could not be a Florence Nightingale but is certain that her efforts and commitments towards humanity are truly rewarding towards her goals.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. NILOUFER HAQUE, PhD, Neuroscientist, Professor, New York City College of Technology. Brooklyn, New York. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Click side arrow for profile details.
Niloufer Haque completed her Ph.D. in Neurochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University in 1987 and then went on to teach at Al Arab Medical University in Benghazi, Libya, before she moved to the United States for further research. Dr. Haque has spent time working at Georgetown University. Her research focus has remained on neurodegenerative diseases as she consistently played integral roles in basic research on developmental disabilities for over a decade. She also worked earlier as a scientist at the Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities at Staten Island, New York.
Niloufer is currently teaching at the New York City College of Technology, where she has been a veteran professor for almost 20 years. She has over 30 papers published with her name, and regularly travels to India to collaborate with Jamia Hamdard faculty in New Delhi on stem cell research and an effective cure for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In addition to presenting her papers at international conferences each year, Haque mentors young researchers and students as a member of the Society for Neuroscience.
Contrary to some notions of limitations placed on Muslim women, Haque cites her culture's social pressures to achieve- ‘A family's pride is in its children's education, and scientific knowledge is a scale by which your intellectual capacity is measured. Surely, I was good. I could study science -- and what better than the science of the brain? Maybe I am biased, but I have always believed that the mind is a beautiful thing.”
RBTC100 USA Honoree . PARVEEN F. WAHID , Professor. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Central. Orlando. Florida. Alumna: Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India,. Click side arrow for profile details.
Parveen F. Wahid, PhD, a distinguished scholar, and accomplished engineer, currently Professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Central Florida. Parveen’s research interests include Antenna Miniaturization and Antennas for Biomedical Applications and has made significant contributions to the field throughout her career. Dr. Wahid’s educational journey began at the University of Mysore in India, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics in 1969, followed by a master’s degree in physics in 1971. She went on to pursue a Ph.D. in electrical communication engineering from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, in 1979.
After completing her doctoral studies, Dr. Wahid moved to the United States, where she gained valuable research experience as a Research Associate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City from 1980 to 1982, and later at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln from 1982 to 1983. In 1984, she joined the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Wahid's field of interest lies in the areas of electromagnetics, antenna miniaturization and antennas for biomedical applications. She has authored over 100 technical publications, including articles in esteemed journals and conference proceedings.
Throughout her career, Dr. Wahid has been actively involved in various professional societies. She is a member of the prestigious Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi societies, which recognize excellence in electrical engineering. Additionally, she has held several leadership positions on IEEE Orlando section. Dr. Wahid was also the General Chair for the 2013 IEEE/APS – USNC/URSI International symposium.
Dr. Wahid's contributions extend beyond her technical expertise. She actively champions the cause of women in engineering. She has won several accolades including Women of Distinction: Excellence in Mentoring Award, UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty, 2012. Parveen F. Wahid's impressive academic and professional journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring engineers and researchers.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. RANA KHAN, Professor and Founding Director, Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship Program, Katz School of Science and Health, Yeshiva University, New York. Alumna: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Rana Khan, PhD, is the founding director of the Biotechnology Management and Entrepreneurship program at the Katz School. She has over 15 years of experience in graduate education administration, teaching, and research. Prior to joining Yeshiva University, Dr. Khan served as Vice Dean in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland University College, providing leadership to a diverse offering of science and information technology-related programs. She also worked as Program Director for the school's Professional Science master’s in biotechnology and led the creation of multiple tracks within the program.
As the Principal Investigator on department of education grants at Dr. Khan implemented a variety of initiatives, including an e-mentoring program, industry-sponsored capstone projects, and a biotechnology symposium. She has extensive experience developing collaborations and partnerships with public and private sector organizations, and in developing new science and technology programs and curricula.
Dr. Khan has a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Maryland at College Park and MS, Biochemistry from Tulane University. She completed her MS in Chemistry from IIT Delhi, India 1982-1985 prior to moving to the United States. Rana spent her early career as a bench scientist working at the US Department of Agriculture on molecular mechanisms underlying plant disease resistance. She has published her scientific research in a variety of scientific peer-reviewed journals and research on e-mentoring programs, outcomes assessment and factors affecting student performance and retention in online programs in educational journals.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SAMINA SALIM, Associate Professor of Pharmacology. University of Houstan, Texas, USA. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Samina Salim, an academic scientist, is an Associate Professor and teaches Pharmacology at the College of Pharmacy at the University of Houston. Samina obtained her PhD in biochemistry and a master’s degree in biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, India. She conducted postdoctoral studies at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden, and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. After two post-doctoral fellowships she secured an academic appointment at the University of Houston where she leads a productive research program. Her life-long goal is to study and advance the topic of health from vantage points of basic neuroscience, ethnic and racial contexts of society.
Samina’s research mainly focuses on how biochemical changes in the brain contribute to anxiety disorders with primary focus on investigating a potentially causal role of oxidative stress in these disorders. She is presently exploring the involvement of oxidative stress in comorbid prevalence of anxiety disorders with cognitive impairment and hypertension. Her research has been well received and supported by research institutes world-wide and her work has been honored and awarded several times. Samina is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific publications, with an accomplished record of scholarship and professional service. She currently serves as a Fulbright Specialist and plays an active role in student mentoring activities and has mentored several graduate and undergraduate students, who have all moved on to have successful careers. In addition to her scientific pursuits Samina has authored more than 30 Op-Eds.
Dr. Salim serves on the advisory board of many non-profit organizations. She is the founding President of AligsCare, a Texas-based 501(C)(3) non-profit organization which delivers cancer support to the underserved communities in India. Apart from her professional commitments and social causes, she writes poetry, enjoys classical Indian music, and cherishes friendships and loves travelling.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TABASSUM RUHI KHAN, Associate Professor Media & Cultural Studies at University of California Riverside, California, USA. Alumna: Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Tabassum Ruhi Khan is Assistant Professor, Media and Cultural Studies, University of California, Riverside. Growing up in different corners of the world, she finds her calling in communicating across cultural divides. Ruhi has previously worked with Discovery and National Geographic Channels.
Ruhi received her Ph.D. in Media Arts and Studies from Ohio University in 2009 and a master’s degree in television production and management from Syracuse University in 1998. Dr. Khan teaches courses exploring intersections of media and popular culture in neoliberal globalized contexts with a particular focus on the political economy of media, the construction of environmental debate, and the formation of digital public spheres. As a cultural anthropologist, Ruhi is interested in examining internalizations of mediated discourses and construction of identities (social and individual) from the perspective of minority and marginalized populations. Her monograph Beyond Hybridity and Fundamentalism published by Oxford University Press (2015) analyzes the emerging political consciousness of the minority Indian Muslim population as increasing access and popularity of digital communication technologies create infinite possibilities for participation and assertion of citizenship rights for a hitherto marginalized population.
Ruhi is an alumnus of Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi where she completed her master’s from the premier media Institute of India, the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre. She is also a filmmaker and has worked as a producer and channel manager with Discovery Channels International, National Geographic Channel, and STAR TV, in Washington DC, New Delhi, and Hong Kong. When not teaching, she enjoys learning new languages and "making trouble" as an activist and filmmaker.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. YASMEEN FAROQI-SHAH. Professor, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences. University of Maryland. College Park. Maryland. Alumna: All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, India, Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Yasmin Faroqi-Shah is a Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland. She received her undergraduate (BS) and Masters (MS) degrees in Hearing and Speech Sciences at the All-India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, India. Yasmeen completed her PhD in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University and joined the University of Maryland as Assistant Professor in 2005. Professor Faroqi-Shah is clinical certified (Certificate of Clinical Competence by the American Speech Language Hearing Association). She is a member of the Maryland Language Science Center and the Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science at her University.
Dr. Yasmin Faroqi-Shah's research focuses on communication difficulties experienced by individuals with brain injury and bilingual speakers. Her labs are the Aphasia Research Center and Bilingualism at University of Maryland. Her research interests and the focus of her labs at the University of Maryland are in Aphasia (acquired language disorders in adults), Neurolinguistics, especially morphosyntax and verbs, Neural plasticity, especially training-related neural plasticity, Bilingualism, and multiculturalism. Her work also includes assessing Asian Indian clients for communication disorders.
Yasmin is the recipient of the Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies, Graduate School of University of Maryland, 2021 award and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Diversity Champion, 2009 This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to multicultural and diversity initiatives of the Association. She was also nominated from the department for College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Teaching Award in 2009 and 2010.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. YASMIN SAIKIA. Professor of History, Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies, School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. Arizona State University. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Yasmin Saikia is the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and Professor of History in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, Arizona State University. Dr. Saikia is also the Co-Director, Center of Muslim Experience in the US, a unique and original center conducting transformative research about American Muslims and their significant contributions to American society and culture.
Dr. Saikia’s research and teaching interests invoke a dynamic transnational and interdisciplinary dialogue situated at the intersection of history, culture, and religion. With a specific focus on contestations and accommodations in South Asia between local, national, and religious identities, she examines the Muslim experience in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and the discourse of nonviolence alongside the practice of violence against women and vulnerable groups. She is the author of the award-winning books, "Fragmented Memory: Struggling to be Tai-Ahom in India" (Duke, 2005) and "Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh: Remembering 1971" (Duke 2010). She has edited several books and has published over three dozen peer-reviewed articles and essays. Her concern for the vulnerable and marginalized in society who are often the targets of hatred and violence drives her passion for advancing scholarly and public understanding of peace studies using a historical approach.
Professor Saikia completed her M.A and Ph.D. in History (South Asia), at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999. She has a M.A. History (Medieval India), and B.A History honors from Aligarh Muslim University, India. Yasmin is the recipient of several awards and recognitions including Faculty Exemplar, Arizona State University 2020 Vision and a Fulbright fellowship, among others. Yasmin hails from Assam in northeast India and has deep connections with scholars and public in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Turkey.
Leadership in Corporate Sector
Working with American and multinational companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Meta, JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft, Intel, Walmart, Tata Consultancy, Agilent Technologies, Roostify, Corning, Amgen, Vizient Inc and Nordson Corporation. State Farm Insurance, T Mobile and others, the honorees are corporate leaders in a range of areas. From bringing ingenious solutions to healthcare to leadership in pharmaceuticals, tech industry and AI expertise, from human resources to strategy and Execution, they serve as vice presidents, managing directors, general managers, business, and strategy directors. They are alumni from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, medical colleges such as Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai, astrophysics expert from ISRO; Narsee Monjee Institute, Mumbai, Aligarh Muslim University, Allahabad University, Osmania university, Lucknow University, among others.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree AISHA HASAN Oncologist, Senior Director, Clinical Development. Johnson & Johnson. New York, USA. Alumna: Topiwala National Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Aisha Hasan. is an oncologist and bone marrow transplant physician specializing in adoptive cellular therapies. Presently she is working as a Senior Director Clinical Development, Lung Cancer Initiative, at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Hasan moved to the US after completing her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree in 1996 from Topiwala National Medical College. She completed her residency in Pediatric Medicine from State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center in 2003. She then joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology fellowship program from 2004-2008 and then continued as a Research Fellow, Bone Marrow Transplantation and Adoptive Cellular Therapy.
Aisha’s professional career in cancer research includes working as assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medicine (2010-2017) and Medical Director – Late-Stage Clinical Development, Merck (2017-2018). She then joined as the Clinical Development Lead, Lead in Oncology Cell and Gene Therapy and Adjunct Attending at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City.
Dr. Hasan’s field of interest is in adoptive T cell therapies to treat cancer and infections. She has translated discoveries from bench to bedside in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials investigating adoptive T cell therapies to treat cancer and infections. In addition, her focus is on expanding the use of haploidentical bone marrow transplantation. Her research has been applied to develop unique algorithms to select patients for T-cell therapy based on inherited HLA polymorphisms.Ayesha has honed her leadership skills throughout her professional journey. These have provided her with valuable insights into leading large teams, problem-solving, and presenting concepts strategically. Her exceptional critical thinking, innovative mindset, and strategic approach enable her to apply scientific advancements in appropriate disease settings.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree ALBANA MANSOOR, Senior Sourcing Executive Vizient, Inc. Irving, Texas, USA. Alumna: Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Albana Mansoor came to the United States in 1998 on a spouse visa in her early 20’s. She faced strong resistance to having a professional career and started her first job relatively late in life at Ford Motor Company headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Her family moved to a suburb of Dallas, Texas and Albana started work at Vizient where she currently heads the food insecurity consulting offering development through Vizient Center of Excellence. Vizient provides expertise, analytics, and advisory services, as well as a contract portfolio of more than $130 billion in annual purchasing volume.
Working in healthcare consulting, Ms. Mansoor has established herself as a subject matter expert negotiating multimillion complex contract for health systems delivering double digit percent savings and value. She has received ‘Superstar’ & ‘Rising Star’ awards in the purchased services group and is also chair of Dimensions DNA at Vizient, an employee resource group. In this role as a transformation and thought leader, she takes speaking engagements with various business units, engaging supplier, and health system leaders in conversations to bring awareness to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ms. Mansoor holds a bachelor’s degree from Allahabad University, India, MBA Finance from Wayne State University, Michigan and Health Care Leadership certification from Belmont University, Tennessee. Albana recalls that as a Muslim immigrant woman from India, South Asia, she had almost no peers or role models that looked or spoke like her at her workplace or in the healthcare purchased services consulting that she engaged. It was hard for her to fit in, no NBA stories to relate to, and constraints in attending happy hours or conferences. However today, finding herself valued & accepted into leadership positions she looks at her journey as very rewarding, despite its challenges.
Albana currently is on the Board of Education Foundation of Plano which helps all students in the Plano School District, Texas, achieve their full potential by providing financial and other support. She is the President of Aligarh Alumni Association of Dallas a non-profit that aims to educate the underserved and underprivileged. Albana also volunteers her time for a peer-run, warmline anonymous calling service for women.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ASMA AHMAD, Director, Data Governance, Microsoft, Seattle, Washington, USA, Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Asma Ahmad currently serves as Director, Data Governance at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle. Recognized as a forward-thinking change leader with a multifaceted skill-set traversing network and information technology, Asma has over 15 years of people management and organizational leadership experience. Asma started her career with Sprint (now T-Mobile) and later served as Director, Ericsson. Working earlier with T-Mobile, she managed 100s of roaming partners from across the globe delivering roaming value-added services leading to millions of dollars in operational cost savings.
Ms. Ahmad has a B.Sc. in electronics engineering from Aligarh Muslim University, India. She moved to the USA in 1995 and took up her MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and later graduated with an MBA from the University of Kansas. With two toddlers and learning to drive, she attended evening classes while her husband (her best friend) took care of the children. Asma is a certified change management professional from Prosci and has certifications from ITIL Foundation global knowledge Spain.
Asma has a fathomless yearning for education and has been volunteering throughout her career. She started volunteering in an Islamic School teaching Math to High School students while pursuing her MS. She was closely associated with Kauffman Foundation in developing STEM curriculum for underprivileged high school students. She was a mentor and culture champion at Ericsson, an employee resource group officer at Sprint ERG, and Community Program Director with non-profit ICJC and has also served as Board member for non-profit ICK.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. BEENISH ZIA. Chief Architect, Medical Imaging. Intel Health and Life Sciences, Portland Oregon. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Beenish Zia is an electrical engineer and currently serves as the Chief Architect for Medical Imaging & Health IT in Intel's Health Education and Consumer business unit. Beenish completed her BS in Electronics Engineering from Aligarh Muslim University, India, and master’s from Portland State University.
Beenish lives by her mantra “You were not born to fade away, but to inspire, aspire and leave an impact, as a tenacious engineer, passionate about evolving technology in the healthcare field. She strives to use her knowledge of transistors, circuit designs, computer architecture from electrical engineering towards healthcare and accelerate patient care through technology and leave a positive impact in the world. Her aim is to use technology to address various real-life challenges in current healthcare infrastructure, whether it is in medical imaging workflows, precision medicine or building smart hospitals of the future that will provide connected, secure, and reliable care to patients quickly. She works with leading companies and independent software vendors to bring ingenious solutions to healthcare, that will pave the path to digital hospitals of the future and accelerate patient care.
Aligned with her core desire of giving back and positively impacting the community, Beenish loves to volunteer and is an enthusiastic supporter of increasing diversity in the STEM fields. She currently serves as a joint coach in the Society of Women Engineer (SWE) Leadership Coaching Committee, has served as the VP of professional development for the Columbia River Section and is a proud recipient of the SWE WE Local 2021 New ELiTE (Emerging Leader in Technology & Engineering) Award. She is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion champion for her business unit, serves as the North America Region cross-site Women at Intel Network board co-chair and is a long-time career mentor.
Beenish’s technical skills are complemented by her natural interest in the arts. She has published a book on poems called Glimpse of me in 30 Poems and is a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan-Karate. Ms. Zia is an awe-inspiring technologist in healthcare, a strong advocate for women in engineering and is a role model catalyst of change.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . FARZANA HAQUE. Business Director, Tata Consultancy Services. Founder-Global Platform Women Entrepreneurs. New York City. Alumna: Indian Space Research Organization, Bengaluru. Click side arrow for profile details.
Farzana Haque is the Global Head for Strategic Group Accounts at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) which is a leading global information technology company with over US$12 Billion in revenues. Starting as a management trainee in the Tata group and working her way up to her current senior leadership position at TCS, Farzana played a key role in the transition of TCS from a local champion to a global giant. She moved to TCS in New York in 2008 and has won numerous global accolades for her exemplary leadership. She was nominated to the World Economic Forum as a ‘Young Global Leader’ and featured by leading Indian and international media on her work. A Board member of TiE, A global brand ambassador for “Catalyst for women Entrepreneurs – CWE” Farzana is also the recipient of the “INDIRA” Super Achiever Award 2008.
Farzana is a powerhouse of talent and an inspiration for women. She holds a Master’s in astrophysics from the Indian Space Research Organization, Bengaluru. She is a champion of equal opportunities. Committed to getting more women in leadership roles as well as providing more capital and mentorship to women entrepreneurs, she co-founded Stree Shakti– a platform for women entrepreneurs. Farzana is also working on getting more women to become tech entrepreneurs. She serves globally on the boards of women centric funds. And is an active investor in start-ups around the world. She is a regular plenary speaker at business schools around the globe and India on topics covering leadership, Technology, building global companies, and innovation.
Working in male-dominated environments, Farzana had to gather up all her courage to make sure she was doing the right thing. Her journey has been full of challenges. She has the ups and downs she faced as a trainee in countries abroad in her many interviews. She believes she was blessed to be born into a family that for generations has had strong women who have strived and contributed to society.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . HUMA ABIDI, GM & Senior Director Engineering. AI, Intel Corporation, Danville, California. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh, India . Click side arrow for profile details.
As a young girl growing up in India, Huma Abidi was hooked to science fiction and fantasy. Back then, she thought she would be a doctor, but computer science was where her destiny lay. Today, she’s the Director – Machine Learning/Deep Learning Software Engineering at Intel Corporation and is responsible for deep learning framework software optimization for Intel Xion processors.
Huma joined Intel as a software engineer and has since risen through the ranks. Huma credits her mom who enrolled me into an extensive computer programming class for really getting me interested in technology. She was named by ‘AIthority’ magazine amongst the 15 women using AI to change the world. She received the Intel Achievement Award for her work in the Software and Services Group and was twice recognized with the Intel Software Quality award. She was listed as one of the 4 women shaping Intel’s AI business by the Silicon Valley Business Journal Category.
Apart from AI, Huma is also passionate about empowering underprivileged girls and since 2015 is on the board of ROSHNI, an organization that educates and trains underprivileged girls in India to become financially independent. Huma says that in the early days, like 20 years ago, opportunities for women in technology, especially at senior level were very few. It was a different atmosphere: more often than not you’d be the only woman in meetings, and it seemed easier to remain quiet than to make sure your point of view was always heard. Huma has also mentored and helped several women who were facing issues at work, such as , not getting promoted, by coaching them and often connecting them to the right folks.
Huma believes that there are very few TV shows or toys that are designed to promote science especially to young girls and has spoken to an audience of girls ranging from second grade to high school to talk about why she chose the career that she did. She has been delivering keynotes at several major conferences, such as at the O'Reilly AI conference in San Francisco, MIT PAN Arab conference in Lebanon, and author of several technical and women in tech blogs.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ISHRAT SHAIKH Senior Product Owner at State Farm Insurance in Dallas Texas. .Alumna: Narsee Monjee Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra. India . Click side arrow for profile details.
Ishrat Shaikh is working as a Senior Product Owner at State Farm Insurance in Dallas. She started her career working for two years at Cipla pharmaceuticals in Mumbai before moving to Chicago. While living in Chicago, Ishrat was handpicked by Blue Cross Blue Shield and FTD to lead their teams to build software applications on their healthcare and E-commerce platforms. She then moved to Dallas, Texas and worked as a corporate executive for multinationals like FedEx and Argo before joining State Farm Insurance.
Ishrat grew up in India in the city of Mumbai. She completed her early education at the prestigious institute of Bhabha Atomic Research Center. She then pursued her BS degree in Microbiology from Mumbai University followed by her management studies at the highly acclaimed management school - Narsee Monjee Institute. Additionally, she is also a certified AWS Cloud practitioner as well as a certified scrum master.
Ishrat is a strong leader in driving transformation and innovation of software applications at State Farm. She is passionate about making products and applications that are easy and user friendly for customers to integrate in their day to day lives. At State Farm, Ishrat is a member of the Women & Technology and Diversity & Inclusion group that are active in multiple community outreach programs. She is also a lead organizer for STEM programs that conduct coding camps for girls in middle and high schools. State Farm recently featured her on their corporate film, to elevate their brand through the lens of its current employees to attract a diverse and talented workforce.
Being a mother of 3 kids and working full time, Ishrat has her hands full but she still makes time to help her community. She loves the outdoors and is an avid marathon runner. She has successfully completed running the Grand Canyon, a total distance of 24 miles with an elevation gain of 11000 feet. She loves the US National parks and intends to visit all of them.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. KHAUDEJA BANO. Vice President Combination Product, Devices, Diagnostics and Software as a Medical Device Quality at Amgen. Chicago. Illinois. Alumna: Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Khaudeja Bano is a physician with a master’s in clinical research, Pharmaceutical engineering Certification, a Database Administrator, and a certified Project Management Professional. Khaudeja has more than 25 years’ professional experience, including clinical practice. Khaudeja is currently the Vice President Combination Product, Devices, Diagnostics and Software as a Medical Device Quality at Amgen at Chicago.
Khaudeja has held several global medical positions at Guidant, Abbott, AbbVie Inc and now Amgen. Her career includes global medical / clinical and safety leadership roles in devices, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and combination products. She currently serves as the chair for the Post Marketing Safety working group for the Combination Product Coalition.
As a global healthcare technology executive with over two decades of experience, Khaudeja drives the development and approval of next-gen healthcare products, including combination products, drug delivery devices, and diagnostic instruments, by directing strategic external outreach, championing product safety, and improving clinical infrastructure. She believes that in developing novel products to manage complex diseases, product safety should be prioritized over growing the bottom line.
Khaudeja spearheads continuous improvement of clinical processes. At Abbott Laboratories, she routinely oversaw gap analysis of existing clinical infrastructure and redesigned the clinical workflows and introduced new processes/standards accordingly. At AbbVie, she introduced a new framework for risk management. She also contributed towards the development of the product roadmap by leading strategy outreach with key opinion leaders and evaluating ideas/technologies proposed by them.
Khaudeja completed her MBBS degree in Medicine from Osmania University, Hyderabad India in 1991 and moved to the USA where she did her master’s in clinical research from University of California at San Diego in 2006.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. MARIA KHAN. Entrepreneur & Senior Manager Marketing T-MOBILE, Dallas Texas Alumna: Lucknow University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Maria Khan completed her MBA degree from Lucknow University, India and moved to Atlanta in 2000 following her marriage, denouncing a job of her choice in India. In the USA, Maria found herself longing to get back into the workforce and met with her first major obstacle, the non-sponsored US work visa requirements. She remembers the tears of despair of being rejected from jobs, not because of my merit but because she didn’t have the right visa qualification. Maria then decided to start her own business. She researched and found that she could register with her company in Delaware, without needing a visa. She started her business in the wholesale distribution of perfumes and essential oils. Here Maria encountered many setbacks. Managing from her home in Atlanta she ventured into all the aspects of procurement, sales, and distribution. She made sales cold calls all day and sent late night business faxes to Bulgaria, France, and India, attended trade shows in DC and went to conferences for business development. Maria was rejected, hung up on, turned down ninety-nine times out of hundred but continued and was elated when she received her first wholesale order of $3000. It was the motivation she needed to keep going. Maria invented her own job and earned a living with minimal funding. Maria’s motto and inspiration is that the path can be convoluted ‘you can do this’!
After a few years in business and the birth of her first child, Maria didn’t want to be on business calls at 3am and shifted her focus and put a pause on her business. Soon she acquired that elusive work visa and found a job that met the balance and satisfaction she wanted. Managing her company had given her the necessary skills to go above & beyond in my new job. Now two decades later, Maria works as Senior Manager, Marketing Planning at T-Mobile in Dallas, Texas. She leads, developing & executing end-to-end business & marketing plans, revenue generation and market share, while leading and managing large scale programs, and is continues to be ready to create new possibilities and opportunities.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. NADIA AZIZ. Transformational Leader and Business Executive; Chief Operating Officer at Roostify, Austin, Texas,. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Nadia Aziz is the Chief Operating Officer at Roostify in Austin, Texas. Nadia is a transformational leader with a proven track record of successfully building and scaling organizations in VC backed startups, Private Equity backed, growth stage firms as well as established, Fortune 200 companies. At Roostify she has direct responsibility for product management, delivery, customer support, governance, risk & controls, and people & talent and supported a successful sale and transition to CoreLogic. Nadia earlier worked with Capital One for twelve years where she was an executive in the Home Loans division. She also held senior positions in the Auto Finance and Credit Card businesses during her tenure there .
Nadia served as General Manager responsible for the Opendoor Home Loans business where she built and launched a full correspondent lending business from the ground up in under six months including developing the business strategy, identifying the technology stack and vendor partners that would allow a rapid go to market,, and building a team of talented and motivated professionals.
Nadia has an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business which she obtained in 2002 and a B.Sc. Engineering from Oregon State University. Nadia completed her schooling at Lucknow and was selected at the Zakir Hussain College of Engineering, Aligarh Muslim University, India where she studied Mechanical Engineering for three years. In India, Nadia worked with Onicra Credit Rating Agency of India and also started her own business, along with two cofounders, in New Delhi between 1994-1998 before moving to the USA for her MBA.
Nadia’s decision to study engineering and business and pursue a career in financial services and financial technology have meant that she is often the only woman in the room, whether the classroom or board room. This has led to unique challenges. Given these experiences, Nadia makes it a point to mentor other women and help pave the way for them to follow their dreams.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SABA HUSAIN. Senior Director Global Health Partnerships . Eli Lilly & Company. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University. Click side arrow for profile details.
Saba Husain is Senior Director Global Health Partnerships at Eli Lilly & Company. She has been working with Eli Lilly for 20 years to provide innovative and accelerated integrated drug development plans to bring new therapies to patients.
Saba came to the US in 1991 with her husband sponsoring her to enter the United States, a country that she knew and had seen through Hollywood movies, newspapers, and magazines. With a Masters in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University in India, Saba explored options to study further and decided to pursue a program at a local school, Butler University, in Indianapolis in pharmacology. It was a new experience to work in a laboratory and take classes in the evening. However, this became a steppingstone of her career journey and opened doors for an opportunity at Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company in Indiana. She worked on diabetes and obesity research and was given an opportunity to gain experience and implement continuous improvement tools and be a six sigma blackbelt in the organization. Saba, who culturally was happy to take the backstage, was now at the forefront, leading projects, engaging stakeholders, and learning to voice her point of view. She got to collaborate with external partners, build capabilities and work in drug development for Lilly’s biomedicines portfolio. Currently Saba leads Lilly’s Global Health Partnerships team, to improve health care for people living in areas with limited resources. This role gives her an opportunity to give back and build a stronger world with the vision to strengthen health care systems and improve access to care.
Through her life’s journey Saba has made many friends, built networks, raised a family, and made Indiana her home. But she has not forgotten where she came from, a Muslim girl from a small town in northern India, who grew up surrounded by educators including her father, and the emphasis on education for a fulfilling life. Besides learning, Saba’s life faced several challenges that led to self-growth and an opportunity to mentor others through life lessons. Her message to all the women out there is to believe in yourself and let yourself soar!
RBTC Global Nominee. SAMEENA SHAH. Managing Director, AI Executive; Chief Product & Transformation Officer, Client Onboarding . JPMorgan Chase & Co. New York, USA. Alumna: Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sameena Shah is an accomplished technology leader at the forefront of creating cutting-edge AI technologies for renowned financial, news, commodities, and legal businesses. Sameena is currently Managing Director, AI Executive, Chief Product & Transformation Officer, Client Onboarding at JP Morgan Chase & Co. New York. Additionally, she is the Founder and CEO of Aylan Analytics LLC, an AI consultancy firm catering to the financial and risk industries.
One of Sameena's notable achievements was envisioning and creating Reuters Tracer and Eikon Search, which were groundbreaking innovations. As a key member of the team, Sameena played a pivotal role in envisioning and developing Natural Language Search for Eikon in 2013, which positioned Thomson Reuters several years ahead of its competition. Additionally, she led the development of Reuters Tracer, an AI-driven fake news detection and verification system. Under her leadership, Reuters experienced remarkable growth, solidifying its position as a trusted provider of information.
Sameena's excellence in the technology industry has garnered recognition and accolades. She was selected as a finalist for the Top Woman technology leader in the world by the Anita Borg Institute in 2016 and was nominated for Obama's White House CTO council under Megan Smith. She also earned the prestigious Google Women in Engineering Award and received the first prize for the Top PhD in the country in 2010 from Microsoft Research. Her remarkable contributions led to her recognition as one of the top 20 data scientists in finance by E-Financial Careers.
Sameena has 11 years of academic experience in engineering. She holds a bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and a Ph.D. in Machine Learning from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Delhi. Her Ph.D. thesis on distributed machine learning earned her the top Ph.D. award for the country in 2010 from Microsoft Research. She is a co-inventor on 11 patents and has co-authored over 40 novel scientific contributions, leading to publications in top computer science conferences.
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RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SARAH SIDDIQUI. Senior Human Resources Leader. Employee Value Proposition at CHRO Nordson Corporation at Charlotte, North Carolina. Alumna: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sarah Siddiqui is a senior human resources (HR) leader with global leadership experience in strategy, talent management, organizational effectiveness, and cultural transformation. Sarah currently leads in Employee Value Proposition at CHRO Nordson Corporation at Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sarah has championed organizational design and transformation initiatives from concept to execution for global businesses. She has led the change of management strategy and activities to drive integration success for historic aerospace merger with Rockwell Collins in both the P&L and the functional Operations groups. Sarah has worked with United Technologies as Executive Director HR and with Citi as Vice President and with Ranbaxy, a leading $900M pharmaceutical company with over 7500 employees in 22 countries. Sarah is skilled in HR partner roles, change management, talent, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, and labor relations. She has proven HR leadership for $1.5B global P&L and Operations functions with global locations and diversified products.
Sarah completed her masters at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai and her bachelor’s from Lady Shriram College, Delhi University, India. She moved to the USA and obtained an MPS in HR and industrial relations from Cornell University.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SHABANA ISLAM. Global Product Line Manager. Corning Life Sciences. Boston, Massachusetts. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Shabana Islam, PhD is currently a Global Product Line Manager at Corning Life Sciences (CLS) supporting business operations for the permeable support product line. She has been with CLS since 2009 working in different roles and responsibilities. She has written scientific articles on different topics that are posted at the Corning website. Prior to joining CLS, she has worked as a Consultant at the Eutropics Pharmaceuticals.
Shabana holds a master’s and doctorate degrees in Biochemistry from the Aligarh Muslim University, India, and business certification from the Harvard Business School online. She has various research experiences at the University of Kansas, Case Western Reserve University, and Harvard Medical School, and has numerous scientific publications from her research work.
Shabana was a year old when she moved to the USA with her family and stayed for few years and returned back to India. Ms. Islam re-located to the USA in 1992 after completing her graduate and doctorate degrees. She had an exposure to science field at a very young age by visiting her father’s labs at the New York University and AMU. As learning never ends for her, she learnt business aspects also and applies her scientific expertise in her current role.
Besides work, Shabana has motivated and mentored women aspiring for a career. At Corning she is actively involved with activities associated to women empowerment.
RBTC100 USA Honoree SHIRIN HASAN, Vice President. Global Clinical and Medical Affairs at The Foundry, Saratoga California. Alumna: Bombay University, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Shirin Hasan is the Vice President of Global Clinical and Medical Affairs at The Foundry where the teams are committed to inventing technologies that redefine the standard of care and transform patients’ lives. Prior to joining The Foundry, she headed Global Clinical Affairs at Agilent Technologies, with responsibility for development and execution of clinical strategies to support Agilent’s Cancer Diagnostics, Genomics Solutions, Life Sciences and Clinical environment across the enterprise.
Shirin has headed Global Clinical Affairs at Medtronic with responsibility for disease screening and therapeutic products for the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group. She joined the early team at BARRX Medical in 2006 where she developed and executed the clinical strategy that contributed to BARRX’s success. BARRX was acquired by Covidien in 2012 which subsequently merged with Medtronic (going from a $400M company to a $40B company). Shirin was critical in bringing the concept to treat esophageal cancer to data driven regulatory approvals, to a successful launch to worldwide market adoption as Standard of Care for the disease.
Shirin has successfully designed, managed, executed, and completed high rigor pre-market and post-market clinical trials, global registries and partnerships with KOL’s that resulted in FDA approvals, adoption as standard of care, and reimbursement by insurance. Shirin has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and has 2 patents.
Shirin is a champion of empowerment of women, children and family services, and diversity and inclusion. She is a member of a global women's empowerment organization. She is also a part of several scientific organizations such as the Precision Medicine Coalition and MedTech Women. Shirin advises startups in setting up a clinical and adoption strategy. She was nominated to participate in the G100 program which helps senior executives succeed and get ready for the C-suite. She is an advisor and mentor for the Women in Leadership program at California State University Business School.Shirin holds a MS in Chemistry from San Jose State University/ Stanford University, a MS in Biochemistry from Bombay University, and a BS in Life Sciences and Biochemistry.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SOFIA MUMTAZ, President – Pipeline Management, Legal, Canada, Australia and Japan at Lupin. New Jersey, USA. Alumna: Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Sofia Mumtaz joined Lupin 20 years ago and today manages Lupin’s Legal and Compliance functions globally and oversees business in Canada, Japan, and Australia. She currently serves as President Regulated Markets and Compliance as Lupin in Naples, Florida.
Prior to joining Lupin, Sofia worked at Ranbaxy and was an Assistant Professor at the University of Delhi. Sofia is a board member and past Chair of the CII-US India Business Forum (2018-2020) and Board member of AAM (Association of Accessible Medicines) in 2018.
Sofia has a doctorate degree in Biochemistry from the University of Delhi and a management degree from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Finance , Banking & Legal Acumen
RBTC Honorees are excelling in competitive legal environments. They are intellectual property and information technology law experts and attorney handling large & complex litigations. In finance and banking they are actuarial scientists, risk executives with multinational financial institutions and have fulfilling careers in financial management. They work as commercial and senior counsels, chief financial officers, senior vice presidents and Head litigation support and risks and controls. They have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law, finance from Mumbai University, Aligarh Muslim University, National Law School, Bengaluru, Delhi University, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, SIES College of Management Studies in India.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. AREEJ FAIZ, Commercial Counsel at TE Connectivity, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Areej Faiz is an accomplished legal professional serving as Counsel specializing in Industrial Technology at TE Connectivity. Areej has extensive experience in contract management and negotiation and in provision of legal counsel and guidance. She has also worked earlier as counsel for sensors and played a key role in liaising to establish foreign subsidiaries of TE Connectivity in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Switzerland.
Areej completed her Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) from Aligarh Muslim University where she was the recipient of the Aligarh Muslim University Alumni Association, Washington D.C Scholarship (2005-2010) and the Central Government of India Fellowship (2008-2009) during her undergraduate studies. Her participation in the M.M. Singhvi Bar Council of India International Law Moot Court Competition (2009) showcased her ability to excel in a competitive legal environment. Ms. Faiz also holds a Master of Law degree in International and Comparative Law from The George Washington University Law School which she completed in 2011. Complementing her legal expertise, Areej has completed a Mini-MBA program at Questrom School of Business, Boston University enhancing her business acumen. She has skills and certifications in A2E Business Fundamentals, Business Strategy and Problem Solving from McKinsey & Company.
Being a woman in law is a major part of her identity to her, as she has been a contributing member to The Women, Business, and the Law report for more than 8 years. The report is a publication of the World Bank Group that examines gender differentiation in legal treatment around the globe, and benchmarks laws & regulations influencing women's capacities to participate in the workforce and to start businesses.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . KHADEEJA SALEEM. Senior Counsel San Francisco Bay Area, California Alumna: Mumbai University, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Khadeeja Saleem is a senior seasoned legal counsel dual qualified in India and the USA. She has over a decade of international experience working as an in-house counsel with startups and publicly traded companies across various industries. Ms. Saleem brings a broad understanding of legal/business issues and commitment to supporting business objectives while ensuring the highest standards of professional integrity. She has been a legal counsel for several big corporations such as Lucid Motors, Tata Motors, and Google.
Born and raised in India, she had to carve a path for herself to follow her dreams of becoming and attorney. Even though the journey has been very hard, she believes that the beauty of dreams is that if we keep persevering, we can achieve it. Khadeeja is a gold medalist from Mumbai University where she completed her Master of Law degree having specialized in Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law. She has a Bachelor of Law degree from Mangalore University. She is a member of the State Bar of California and has specialization from the Santa Clara University Law School of Law in Internet Law and Technology Licensing.
Outside of work, Khadeeja loves reading books and enjoys hiking with her family. She also volunteers with the Led By Foundation in India to mentor young women.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . KAMAR AMANULLAH. ex-Chief Financial Officer, CFO at Sisters of Mercy Health System, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Alumna: National Law School, Bengaluru. Click side arrow for profile details.
Throughout her career, Kamar held key positions in organizations such as Sisters of Mercy, Detroit, Trinity Health System, and Beaumont Health Foundation. Kamar was the Chief Finance and Human Resource Officer at Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Detroit. Following her tenure at Sisters of Mercy, Kamar ventured into Trinity Health Systems, assuming the role of Director of Retirement Plans where she skillfully managed and directed the organization's retirement plans, ensuring their smooth administration and compliance. In the subsequent phase of her illustrious career, Kamar lent her expertise as a senior consultant to the President of Beaumont Health Foundation where she provided invaluable guidance, leveraging her financial acumen, strategic thinking, and human resource leadership skills to contribute to the success of Southeast Michigan's largest health system.
Beyond her primary employment, Kamar actively engaged in various boards and committees, supporting educational institutes, volunteering, and participating in organizations dedicated to financial management, women's rights, and the Indian American community. She is passionate about personal growth and enjoys reading, golfing, hiking, practicing, teaching yoga, and traveling extensively. Since retiring, she divides her time between her family in India and the United States, aspiring to stay healthy, active, and continue contributing to society in both countries. Kamar believes in lifelong learning, investing time in interests, and making a positive impact in the world.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. MARIYAM MOONIS. Former Vice President, Senior Actuary, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Boston, MA Alumna: St. Xavier's College, Bombay University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Mariyam Moonis, FSA, MAAA is a former Vice President and current senior actuary at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, a not-for-profit health insurance company based in Boston. Mariyam was born and raised in Mumbai, India and completed her bachelors and master’s in mathematics from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay University. Upon moving to the United States in 1990, she taught Mathematics for a few years at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, while pursuing her PhD in Mathematics there. However, her interest shifted to a more applied Mathematical field, Actuarial Sciences and she changed her focus to achieving a Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries (FSA), a credential currently held by less than 0.05% of the United States population.
Ms. Moonis earned her FSA designation in 2020 and consequently became a member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA). Her work focuses on the evaluation of financial and strategic risk arising from various macro and micro factors impacting the health care ecosystem. Evaluating the impact of federal and state health care policy and influencing decisions through advanced analytics and a strong knowledge of the complex United States health care financing network is another area that she has contributed to significantly. Mariyam has mentored many younger actuaries and analysts and several women associates at BCBSMA to help guide their career. One of the important lessons Mariyam learnt is that life may be challenging at times, and you may be faced with health, family, or other unexpected issues. Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back to move forward again and that’s okay.
In addition to her professional life, Mariyam has, along with many other members of her family, supported the development of a high school, Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza College which was established in 2017 in Baghui Buzurg Village of Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh India. The school has a current enrollment of 785 students out of which 205 students are educated free of cost. Additionally, she has volunteered to teach Mathematics virtually to high school students in Kashmir through the Kashmir Education Initiative. In addition to personal sponsorship of deserving students, she supports many other organizations including the Aligarh Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, Indian Muslim Relief and Charities, Save the Children, and the United Way.
RBTC100 USA Honoree. NASEEM QADEER. Head of Litigation Support at Bodhiglobal Legal Services. Saddle River, New Jersey. USA Alumna: Bombay University, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Naseem Qadeer is a seasoned attorney with experience in both India and the United States. Naseem has worked closely with renowned litigators in Miami and New York and handled large and complex cases. Naseem joined the Law Offices of Stanley Rosenblatt, where she played an integral role in the Union Carbide Litigation. Naseem traveled to Bhopal to document the injuries of thousands of clients represented by the firm and continued her involvement in the litigation. In 1986, Naseem became a part of Hornsby and Wheisenand, where she successfully managed an extensive volume of documents related to a complex litigation representing the Government of Venezuela. Later, she joined Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York, specializing in complex commercial litigations and trials. She played an essential role in high-profile trials, including the Long Island Lighting Company's Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant Litigation, cases for Matshushita Electric Industrial Co., and litigations for Computer Associates and American Airlines.
Naseem's legal journey began after she earned her law degree from the Government Law College in Mumbai, India, and her Masters in Commercial Law from Mumbai University in 1976. She joined the Reserve Bank of India, where she worked in the Foreign Exchange Department. Moving to the United States, Naseem attended the University of Miami, 1983-1985 where she obtained a J.D. degree and a Master of Law in Comparative Studies.
Besides being an accomplished attorney Naseem is also actively engaged in charity work alongside a group of South Asian women. Naseem founded the Cultural Society of Bergen County in 2016. The groups’ focus lies in supporting neighborhoods in need, particularly in the areas of education, household items, clothing, and family matters. The funds raised by their members, as well as donations are directed towards various charitable organizations. These include the Palestinian Children's Help Organization, SMILE Organization, Bergen County Food Pantry, and other local organizations that aid needy children and families with education and care.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SAHAR SHAMIM. Senior Finance Manager, Microsoft. Seattle, Washington, USA. Alumna: University of Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sahar Shamim is a consummate finance leader with over 15 years of experience providing cross functional leadership across multiple teams and initiatives and developing key financial models and insights required to inform long-term strategic investment decisions. Most of her experience has been providing financial leadership in technology companies in Seattle and Silicon Valley. Her most recent assignment was in the Customer and Partner Solutions team, a multiple billion-dollar unit at Microsoft. Her role required her to partner deeply with senior business leaders to contribute to critical decisions and drive business impact. Prior to that she delivered financial leadership to a rapidly growing global Amazon Web Services (AWS) networking organization. She partnered with the AWS Infrastructure team to provide strategic guidance on investments for regional expansions.
Sahar’s specialties include tracing insight out of data to trigger actions and drive business impact; Managing complex and dynamic financial models with multiple tiers of input and output; Driving different aspects of deal execution, including researching target companies, deal structure, valuation, negotiation, integration planning, and due diligence.
She considers herself a global citizen with a deep passion for learning, mentoring young talent and experiencing different cultures through her travels. Sahar holds an MBA from Stanford University which she completed in 2007, a master’s in commerce from University of Delhi and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Source/References:
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SANA SAYED. Head of Risk and Controls, Chief Operating Office CitiBank, New York, USA . Alumna: SIES College of Management Studies. Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sana Sayed is a distinguished and exemplary leader in the world of banking and financial services. Throughout her impressive 17-year journey, she has held multiple leadership roles across top tier multi-national financial institutions like JP Morgan Chase and Citibank, where she has implemented large-scale, complex enterprise-wide programs across geographies and verticals.
Sana is a Muslim originally from Mumbai India who relocated to the United States after her marriage in 2004. After completing her graduation from St. Xavier’s College Mumbai and post-graduation from SIES College of Management Studies Nerul, she embarked on her corporate journey as a retail banker and swiftly advanced to assume demanding senior roles. In 2009 she was able to take her branch to the bank’s top 10% national achievers list. Sana was part of an EXPAT assignment where she moved from Front Office to Bank Operations.
Sana has been highly regarded amongst her peers for her keen risk acumen & passion for excellence. However, it was her pivotal role in establishing a comprehensive Risk & Controls organization for the corporate functions at the Chief Administrative Office of JP Morgan Chase that truly showcased her unparalleled capabilities. Sana created a robust framework that ensured the organization's adherence to stringent risk management protocols and regulatory expectations. Her innate ability and drive for impactful outcomes has propelled her to the forefront of her field, and her current position of Head of Risk and Controls for the Chief Operating Office at Citibank.
Sana strongly believes in following her passion and building a community. She is part of a local musical band participating as a singer and organizing various musical events. Sana is an active member of a Charity institute “Shanti Charitable Trust’ established by her family in India. She also sponsors scholarships for Muslim children in Mumbai’s Saboo Siddique College of Engineering. Locally Sana is involved in a Muslim working women's group, where she provides guidance to support and empower other working Muslim women.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree SHADAN HASAN, Senior Vice President - ICG Loan Operations. Citi. Irving, Texas, USA. Alumna: Delhi University, Delhi , India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Shadan Hasan is a Senior Vice President within the ICG sector of Citigroup, in Irving Texas. She has two decades of experience working within the financial industry with global banks like Bear Stearns (Chase), Goldman Sachs & now Citi. Shadan is a certified PMP, CSM & CSPO.
Shadan grew up in Lucknow, India, where she completed her schooling from Loreto Convent. She graduated from Lucknow University with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature & then pursued an MBA in Human Resource Development from Delhi University. Ms. Hasan worked for Perot Systems in Noida, India, for 2 years before moving to Dallas, Texas in 2000. Here she pursued MS in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Dallas, to align with the Dot Com era. With zero background in computers or technology, she amazed herself when she graduated summa cum laude! But unfortunately, 2002 was a recession year and there were no campus placements. She worked in the UTD Math Lab (on minimum wages) for a year before she got her first break with Bear Stearns in 2003 and has been in the financial industry since then.
Ms. Hasan is very passionate about Diversity & Inclusion. At Goldman Sachs, she was the COO of the Dallas Women’s Network and a Team Lead for several Community Teamwork (Giving Back) Projects. At Citi, she was a part of their D&I committee for several years. She also co-founded & led the “Women of GFT” affinity group at their Irving site. In that capacity, she also spearheaded multiple Community Outreach events – Donating hand-made masks during the initial Covid pandemic months, making care packages for the homeless, etc. She is also part of the Irving Site Leadership team. She is now leading the “Reactivate Your Career” program for the Irving site, where folks who have taken a career break are supported back into the workforce via a structured program. She is working on onboarding Citi Irving’s first batch this year. She is also a board member of a non-profit organization that raises funds to support several educational causes in India & beyond.
Strides in Science /STEM
Rising Beyond The Ceiling STEM honorees are experts in toxicology, pharmaceutical sciences, environment, protein biochemistry and machine learning, they are committed clinical molecular geneticists, explorers in biological sciences, talented computer software professionals, scientist in nutrition research, pathbreaking wildlife biologist and working on improving solutions for communication disorders. They have obtained their degrees from Indian educational institutions such as Jamia Hamdard University, All India Institute Of Speech and Hearing , Mysuru, Aligarh Muslim University, Bombay University and Women’s Christian College, Chennai. And are working at reputed American educational institutions including Columbia University, University of Michigan, Washington State University, Southern Illinois University Carbondale Rutgers Medical School, New Jersey, New York Medical College, Zucker School of Medicine.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. AYESHA RAHMAN AHMED, Toxicologist. Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Washington State University, Spokane, Washington, USA Alumna: Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Ayesha Rahman Ahmed, MSc, PhD, CRA is an Associate Professor at the Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, Washington. A toxicologist by training, teaches Fundamentals of Toxicology course to PhD and to the PharmD students. Ayesha current research interests include electronic nicotine delivery systems and their health effects.
Dr. Ahmed has published many research articles and over 12 chapters in the Encyclopedia of Toxicology with the focus on key concepts and specific chemicals to reflect current advances in the field of nanotoxicology, epigenetics, persistent organic pollutants, computational toxicology, and bioinformatics. She is an ad hoc reviewer of many scientific journals and serves on the Institutional Review Board and has also been involved as a curriculum committee member at WSU.Ayesha was elected as a WSU faculty senate in 2022 and as a Steering Committee Chair in 2023 where her role is to deal with matters related to all the four campuses of WSU including the cities- Pullman, Spokane, Vancouver, and Yakima. Ayesha has also been elected as a voting member on the WSU President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Ayesha considers her mother as her inspiration who taught her to make wise choices in the most uncertain situations. Ayesha completed her BSc degree from Aligarh Muslim University with Honors in Biochemistry. She did her MSc and PhD in Toxicology and Medical Elementology from Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi. Ayesha moved to the USA in 2001 as a research assistant in the Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. In 2005, she joined the University of Michigan Department of Pharmacology, Ann Arbor USA, as a postdoctoral Fellow working on Vitamin D and its role in hypertension and heart failure. Having a strong passion in educating herself, Ayesha completed her online certification course in the clinical research associate and medical terminology and applied the knowledge while working as a Toxicologist at the University of Toledo, ADS Biotechnology to help develop a modified protein for its FDA approval towards the treatment of the sepsis and trauma.
References/Sources• https://people.wsu.edu/profile/ayesha-ahmed/• https://shop.elsevier.com/books/encyclopedia-of-toxicology/wexler/978-0-12-824315-2• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35131152/ Semin Cell Dev Biol . 2022 Aug;128:120-129. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2022.01.006.• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35889233/ Molecules . 2022 Jul 7;27(14):4362. doi: 10.3390/molecules27144362.• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34499601/ J Pharm Pharm Sci . 2021;24:462-474. doi: 10.18433/jpps32242.• https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33867071/ Curr Pharm Teach Learn . 2021 Jun;13(6):723-728. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2021.01.025.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. JUHI KIDWAI, Healthcare Research Scientist. Assistant Professor Communication Disorders and Sciences at Southern Illinois University Carbondale USA Alumna: All India Institute Of Speech and Hearing , Mysuru, Karnataka. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Juhi Kidwai is currently an Assistant Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is working towards developing cross-context service delivery models where individuals with communication disorders across the lifespan in India and the US have awareness and access to therapy services.
Juhi completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore. With an intent to improve provision of services to individuals with communication disorders, she worked at clinical centers in Mysore and Lucknow in India. As a clinician, she was able to spread awareness about communication disorders and provide services to both privileged and underprivileged sections of society.
With her goal of knowledge advancement, she paved the way for a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology at University of Kansas in the US on a full scholarship in 2016. Her PhD revolved around combining her speech-language pathology education with cutting-edge neuroscience and technology applications for developing easily consumed therapy solutions for individuals with communication disorders. She furthered her education by pursuing post-doctoral research at New York University.
Juhi has been motivated by her mother who strongly supported her daughter’s education and believed that her daughters should be financially independent. Dr. Kidwai believes that literacy and education is a must for all individuals. She helps students with Higher education, specifically University applications. Besides academics, she enjoys reading books, yoga, travelling, and staying in touch with her friends and extended family members.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SEEMA HUSAIN, Ph.D., DABMGG, FACMG Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA Alumna; Aligarh Muslim University. Click side arrow for profile details.
Seema Husain PhD, DABMGG, FACMG is an accomplished researcher and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. In addition to spearheading research projects at the state-of-the-art genomic center, she also enjoys teaching and mentoring students. Dr. Husain is a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist and has publications in many prestigious scientific journals.
Born into a family of accomplished academicians, Dr. Husain earned both her M.Phil. and PhD degrees in Biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, India in 1997. She also received her B.Sc. Honors from there and was awarded the J.D. Dheer Award for obtaining the highest marks in Science subjects at Women's College, AMU, India. During her Ph.D. program, Dr. Husain was awarded a fellowship for a joint research project by the European Economic Community under the International Scientific Co-operation Program and worked in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, UK. Dr. Husain is the first from her alma mater to become a Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, specializing in Molecular Genetics. She is also a Diplomat of the American Board of Medical Genetics & Genomics.
An active member of her local community, Dr. Husain is a member of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Committee, which is committed to building and sustaining a culture where all forms of diversity are represented, and community members feel safe and supported. Dr. Husain moved to the USA after marriage and resides in Chatham, New Jersey USA with her husband and two children.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . NASREEN HAQUE, Diver/ Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, New York Medical College. New York. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Nasreen Haque is Associate Professor at New York Medical College. She is an experienced scientist, educator, and explorer. She is also a deep-sea diver and has participated in several expeditions.
Nasreen has a PhD in Biological Sciences from Aligarh Muslim University, India and is skilled in Translational Medicine, Stem Cell biology, Microbiology, Genomics / Data Analysis and Biotechnology with specialization in Inflammation/Vascular Biology. She is a strong educational professional interested in proximate and Evolutionary mechanisms of human inflammatory disorders.
Nasreen has worked earlier at the City University of New York as Assistant Professor, as term assistant professor at Barnard College, Columbia University and at Mount Sinai School of Medicine also for 7 years. Nasreen was a research fellow at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre and a post-doctoral fellow at Thomas Jefferson University from 1990-1995 when she moved to the USA.
In India Nasreen worked as Scientific Officer at the National Institute of Immunology and was also aboard the expedition of the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa India which led to the identification of fish species from Laccadive Islands in 1987. Nasreen is a trained deep-sea diver and has participated in underwater exploratory expeditions. [to add]
RBTC100 USA Honoree . NAYYARA MAHMOOD Director, Cytogenetics Laboratory, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Northwell Health. Assistant Professor, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. Long Island, New York. Alumna: Kanpur University, Kanpur, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Nayyara Mahmood, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Director of Cytogenetics Laboratory, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Northwell Health. She works as part of a medical team responsible for detecting, analyzing, and interpreting chromosomal abnormalities in prenatal, postnatal and oncology samples. An interesting aspect of her work is looking for the chromosomal changes that have been established in cancers ranging from various leukemias, lymphomas and solid tumors that help the clinicians get a more specific diagnosis of the disease state.
Nayyara’s parents played a pivotal role in encouraging her to do her best in school. When she was in school at Loreto Convent Lucknow, her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. It was a shattering experience for Nayyara to watch the suffering of her grandmother. This motivated her to work towards pursuing a career in the sciences so she could work on cancer.
Dr. Mahmood did her bachelor’s and master’s in Biochemistry from Lucknow University, India in 1988. After completing her Masters, she got married, but she continued to pursue her desire to do research and get a PhD. She joined the Indian Institute of Toxicological Research, Lucknow, for her PhD in Chemistry (Toxicology). Nayyara moved to the US in 1991 and went back to India to defend her thesis and received her PhD degree from Kanpur University in 1994, after her daughter was born.
During her early years in the US, Nayyara was a homemaker and focused on raising her daughter. It was daunting to pick up from where she left and start all over again. However, Dr. Mahmood was persistent and joined the North Shore University Hospital in 2001 and got her training in cytogenetics. She worked her way up and held different management positions. Dr. Mahmood has several scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and works on clinical research trials and research projects.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SOFIA SALEEM. Computer Software Professional. Lecturer, University of Michigan. Ann Arbour. Freelance Writer. Ann Arbour, Michigan. Alumna: Bombay University, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sofia Saleem is a faculty member at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor at the College of Computer Science and Engineering . She is a senior computer software professional with over a decade of industry experience with various global multinational companies. She has served on the advisory board of University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Hospitals as a member of the Office of Patient Experience and has been part of the Digital Patient and Family Advisory Committee.
Sofia was born in Chennai, India and completed her K-12, undergraduate and postgraduate education in Mumbai. She has a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Mumbai. After graduating, she joined Tata Consultancy Services as a Software Engineer and travelled to Bell Northern Research (an AT&T subsidiary) to execute a project at their Head Quarters in Ottawa, Canada.
Sofia was offered a place at Oxford University’s college of Computing for a PhD in Computer Vision, but she chose to move to America and join the tech workforce. Ms. Saleem worked in Electronic Data Systems (EDS now Hewlett-Packard) as a software specialist for nine years before transitioning to teaching in academia. The early period of moving to the US was a steep learning curve, not so much in tech proficiency as in adjustment to mainstream culture. EDS had a formal dress code for consultants, which required women to wear business suits, which comprised of jackets and skirts. Pantsuits did not make the cut. Another challenge adjustment was multi-tasking to practice of doing house with professional work, particularly as a new mom, who had to learn how to change diapers and feed the baby, while liaising with customers and getting a new product ready for release.
In the early 2000’s Sofia spent seven years in India where she moved with her husband and three kids to Bengaluru. Here she was actively involved with community service and education and upliftment of the underprivileged. She also made several contributions to writing for newspapers such as the Hindu Sunday magazine. Sofia did tech advertorials for Microsoft India’s Tech Ed conference.
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RBTC 100 USA Honoree. WAHIDA KARMALLY. Special Research Scientist. ex-Director of the Bionutrition core, Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Columbia University, New York, USA. Alumna: Women's Christian College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Wahida Karmally Dr.PH,MS,RDN,CDCES,CLS,FNLA, worked is a Special Research Scientist, Columbia University, New York. Dr Karmally’s career path has spanned three different countries and included experience at almost every level of nutrition research: basic, clinical, and public health. She is a strong advocate of nutrition research and attributes much of her work to the very dedicated teachers, mentors in St. Columban’s High School, SIET Women’s College, Women’s Christian College in Chennai, Queen Elizabeth College, Middlesex Hospital. London UK and Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, USA.
Wahida moved to the US in 1971. Received Doctor of Public Health in Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University while working as Director of Bionutrition in the Irving Institute of Clinical and Translational Research. Dr. Karmally had the unique opportunity to teach in the master’s program at Women’s Christian College in Chennai, Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Dental Medicine and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. She has presented in international meetings at FAO, Rome, World Congress of Nutrition, World Heart Federation in India, and Argentina, in Brazil, Palestine and United Nations (Women and Girls in Science) and American Heart and American Diabetes Scientific Sessions.
As a certified diabetes educator and clinical lipid specialist Dr. Karmally has counselled Heads of States, royalty, internationally known individuals as well as patients without insurance. As a passionate supporter of health equity and health justice, she is honored to counsel all to improve and optimize their health. Dr. Karmally has volunteered for American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Lipid Association, Imamia Medics International (Global Women’s Wing) and served on Boards , Chair of Committees and as National Spokesperson. Wahida is grateful for all the opportunities she has received with Allah’s Grace. One of her favorite Rumi quotes is ”Gratitude is the wine for the soul, go on get drunk”!
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ZAARA KIDWAI, Wildlife Biologist. Regional Coordinator for monitoring Chronic Wasting Disease in deer species at the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Bozeman, Montana. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Zaara Kidwai is an accomplished Wildlife Biologist and Conservation Ecologist with a rich background in environmental research and wildlife management. With over 13 years of experience working with government agencies and non-governmental organizations across Asia, Africa, and North America, Zaara has made significant contributions to the field of wildlife conservation.
During the master's degree program of the Department of Wildlife Science in Aligarh Muslim University, Zaara wrote a lot of letters and emails but was unsuccessful in getting a project. After three months of searching, finally, with the help of one of her teachers, Zaara got my a chance to work with one of the best scientists in Wildlife Institute of India, in Sariska Tiger Reserve. Her passion for wildlife and nature conservation led her to work with esteemed organizations such as the Wildlife Institute of India, WWF-India, and the Ranthambhore Tiger Conservation Foundation. During her time in India, she actively participated in various projects focused on tiger conservation in well-known Tiger rReserves like Sariska, Kanha, Corbett, Rajaji, and Ranthambore.
Driven by her quest for knowledge and a desire to make a greater impact in the field, Zaara enrolled to pursue a doctoral degree in Environment Sciences through a partnership between the University of South Africa and the University of Witwatersrand which is currently in progess. Her research focused on studying the effects of environmental variables on twenty-seven species of ungulates in the Northwest province of South Africa.
Zaara's professional journey extended to North America in 2019, where she has worked with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Currently, she serves as the Regional Coordinator for monitoring Chronic Wasting Disease in deer species at the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Her expertise lies in conducting aerial surveys, population monitoring, and modeling population interactions. In 2022 Zaara was awarded employee of the year award within the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
Taking Entrepreneurship Forward
The entrepreneurial leaders are founders and CEO's that have established companies and organizations such Hasan Consulting, Cleveland Masala, Insights Psychology, India International Film Festival of Boston, Seed Stage Startups, Shabana Pathan Realtors and Sensys Instruments, which was one of the first Indian high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. Their endeavors are providing mental health for diverse communities, helping individuals in their fitness goals, paving a path in IT Services, promoting India’s culture & creativity, proving client oriented real estate services, showcasing beauty and richness of cultural diversity in fashion. Balancing multisector entrepreneurship goals & family, these nine entrepreneurs are alumni of Delhi , Bombay and Aligarh Universities of India.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. HINA Z. SIDDIQUI, Clinical Psychologist, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Insights Psychology, a mental health practice, Woodbury, Minneapolis. Alumna: Delhi University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Hina Zamir Siddiqui is a clinical psychologist and CEO and Founder of a mental health group practice, Insights Psychology, in Minnesota. Born and raised in India, Dr. Siddiqui moved to the United States in 2001 following marriage and completion of her masters from Delhi University in psychology. She started graduate school in 2002 and completed her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD.) degree in Clinical Psychology in 2006. Over the course of her employment as a licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Siddiqui has worked in community mental health clinics, hospital based mental health clinics, and primary care clinics. For twelve years, Dr. Siddiqui was employed at Allina Health, a healthcare system in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Dr. Siddiqui started her private practice (Insights Psychology) in 2017 while employed at Allina Health, and in 2021 transitioned to full time private practice. Her practice has psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers, and psychology trainees (post-doctoral residents and doctoral students). Hina is a generalist and works with children, adolescents, and adults. She offers individual, couples, and family therapy. Her professional interests include cognitive behavioral therapy for depression and anxiety management, individual psychotherapy for trauma, women’s mental health, and specialized health psychology evaluations. Dr. Siddiqui has competence in working with diverse populations and ethnic minorities. Dr. Siddiqui successfully completed board certification in Clinical Psychology by American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). In her practice, Dr. Siddiqui is also a clinical supervisor and offers training and supervision to pre-licensed clinicians and to doctoral students in clinical/counseling psychology programs in Minnesota.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . HINA SIDDIQUI, Personal Trainer HSKFITSQUAD & Author. Losaltos, California, USA. Alumna: Delhi University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
From her early years as an athlete in Delhi, to her current home in San Francisco, Hina Siddiqui has dedicated herself to helping others look and feel their best through fitness. For Hina, a self-employed personal trainer and founder of HSKFITSQUAD, fitness is not just a hobby or a job, it is a way of life. Hina is NASM certified and her book "Get Fit" is now available on Pothi.com. Get Fit is a beginner's guide to working out and overall fitness, designed to provide expert knowledge and practical tips for developing a solid foundation in fitness. Hina takes great pride in my role as a fitness expert and is committed to continuing to help individuals achieve their fitness goals and lead fulfilling, healthy lives.As a fitness expert with a passion for staying active since childhood, Hina understands the importance of respecting the body and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She firmly believes that our bodies are vessels that take us to the very end, and it is our responsibility to maintain them in the best possible condition. Over the past six years, Hina has been privileged to help clients achieve their fitness goals and live healthier, more fulfilling lives. As we age, staying active becomes increasingly important for our overall well-being and ability to function in daily life. This is the message that Hina spreads to all her clients, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing their health and fitness to achieve optimal physical and mental wellness.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree , NISHAT HASAN. Information Technology Consulting. Founder Hasan Consulting. Allen, Texas, USA. Alumna: Bombay University, Mumbai, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Nishat Hasan is the founder of her company Hasan Consulting which provides Information Technology (IT) services to clients in the United States. Nishat did her Bachelors in Math and IT from Bombay University and then went on to complete her MBA from the same university. Following that she worked as a Management Consultant in Bombay before getting married and moving to Delhi. Nishat then completed her certifications and came to the US in 1998 where she started working as an IT consultant. She was the only woman in a team of 20 during the implementation of her first Oracle ERP project at a renowned designer furniture manufacturer. It was quite intimidating because she had to deal with a lot of condescending attitudes. Nishat combatted that by working diligently and earnestly and over time rose to being single handedly responsible for the development and maintenance of their Oracle applications. During her career, that is now in its 26th year, she founded her own company, to provide IT services to clients in the US.
Nishat is also involved in various social projects - She is part of a support group to help special needs parents , having been on this journey herself. Recognizing the loneliness that senior parents face when they visit or live with their kids in the US, she initiated a senior group in her local city where seniors could socialize. Realizing the struggles that Indian Muslim parents face in the US with regards to the marriage of their kids , Nishat is part of a team to set up a free matrimonial platform and now maintains it. In her private time, Nishat loves to learn Arabic grammar including morphology and etymology in her quest to understand the Quran. She has been teaching Arabic grammar to family and friends and has about 100 videos of her lessons on her YouTube channel. Despite a packed schedule and putting on multiple hats , Nishat tries to carve out some time regularly for Yoga and hiking.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree RAZIA MASHKOOR, Founder & Executive Director IIFFB- India International Film Festival of Boston and online TV BDC-TV. Talk Show Host (Watan Ki Baat). Boston, USA. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow to see profile details.
Razia Mashkoor is the founder and executive director of online TV BDC -TV (Boston Desi Community) and also of the IIFFB (India International Film Festival of Boston). The goal of IIFFB is to provide homes to a group of young and vibrant film enthusiasts who are committed to creating spaces for independent cinema and devoted to spreading the knowledge of the modern visual art form to all who are interested. Razia’s entrepreneurship initiatives, BDCTV and IIFFB, provide a unique platform to showcase India’s culture and creativity to the Boston/Massachusetts and wider community.
Razia is a writer, producer and host of a talk show Watan Ki Baat. She is the editor of the online magazine "Deedahwar" ( a quarterly Urdu magazine) and also manages the Aligarh Urdu Club forum at Yahoo. Her short story writing is in Urdu. Razia organized the “Tamseeli Mushaira” in 2013, which became very successful.
Well known as Razia Boston (because she loves Boston as her home), Razia moved to Boston in 2003 after getting married. Born and raised in Aligarh, Razia completed her graduate studies at Aligarh Muslim University in India in 1997.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree . RESHMA HYDER Investor Advisor Seed stage startups in STEM- Former CEO-ZenSpace. Saratoga, California. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Reshma Hyder is the CEO of Zen Space, a successful real estate, and angel investor. With six children and two grandchildren, Reshma's journey to Silicon Valley success is one of strength, courage, and determination. Reshma is an advisor for early startup investors and a financial service licensed agent and cofounder of her IT startup. The first Muslim woman on the board of a Silicon Valley IT company, Reshma focused on the digital revolution, healthcare, remote work, and real estate sectors.
Reshma’s engineer father belonged to Lucknow, India where she grew up but since he went to work in Saudi Arabia, Reshma did her schooling in Saudi Arabia. Reshma has experience of three countries before she moved to the USA as her mother’s family moved from India to Pakistan in 1960s. Reshma joined Aligarh Muslim University in India for her bachelors in Biochemistry and was there in 1988-1989 after which she moved to the United States. Reshma completed her B.Sc. in Finance, Financial Investments from San Jose University in 2005.
Reshma’s first investment in the early 1990’s was shipping desktop computers assembling and marketing while she was a stay-at-home mom, her first child was born in 1991. She joined her family’s real estate business and focused on commercial real estate development with direct experience with retail sales, social and financial services to families. Reshma developed an interest in education and is also the Co-founder of MiFam, Tech-knowledge news for families of digital natives, STEAM curriculum development for K-12 students, distance E-learning solutions for schools.
Ms. Hyder gives credit to the support from her husband. However, she faced many challenges raising 6 children, keeping up with growing career demands while being caretaker for her late husband’s 11-year battle with cancer. Interested in social entrepreneurship and giving back, Reshma co-founded in 2002 the first helpline and shelter for domestic violence victims in the Bay Area. She is a youth mentor for career and academic guidance and is a woman in STEM advocate. Reshma is also a trust and scholarship philanthropist for the Hyder family fund to support Zaytuna college, Jahangirabad Institute in Uttar Pradesh India and the 1947 partition stories archive.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SAHAR MANSOOR Founder of Cleveland Masala, Events & Experience Innovator. Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist at Bellefaire JCB, Shaker Heights, Ohio. Alumna: Delhi University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sahar Mansoor Rizvi is the Founder of Cleveland Masala, an Events & Experience Innovator. Through Cleveland Masala Sahar offers both holistic wellness and nutrition coaching and private cooking lessons. Sahar is a proponent of the ancient Indian Health practice of Ayurveda and espouses the philosophy of food as medicine. ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘veda’ is wisdom. It’s a way of living that constitutes healing practices, nutrition and everyday wellness.
Sahar grew up in New Delhi and met her husband in India where they were married and moved to the United States 18 years back putting down new roots in Shaker Heights, Cleveland. Sahar’s journey to becoming a wellness coach did not come naturally. Her active father developed diabetes at the age of 52 and had heart disease and stroke at 62 and passed away. That was a wakeup call and Sahar enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City as a distance learning student and became certified in 2017.
Sahar offers cooking classes which started as a result of a fundraiser where she offered a private cooking class for 4 people and the bid went to $350. This showed her that you can be a stay-at-home mom and have a successful side gig which was empowering for her. Her cooking classes are fun and interactive. She also did a fund class for a book group that was reading a novel by Thrifty Umrigar, and they wanted to learn about Indian street food mentioned in the book. While cooking she also does a lot of storytelling about her childhood in India.
Sahar has experience in researching, designing, and executing unique and innovative occasions to launch new products, meet personalized needs of clients, and celebrate life’s milestones. Sahar, who is completing her master’s degree in Mental Health Counselling from Cleveland State University, has a Bachelor of Arts from Delhi University. Sahar works as Therapeutic Behavioral Specialist at Bellefaire JCB, Shaker Heights, Ohio where she oversees client’s health and wellness goals through customized plan focused on improving general wellness, nutrition, stress management and stabilize blood sugars
- Shaker Life Magazine, Spring 2020 (photo source)
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SHABANA PATHAN Realtor, Founder Shabana Pathan Group. Bethleham, Pennsylvania. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Shabana Pathan is the founder and team leader of the Shabana Pathan Group (SPG) which has sold properties valued in multi million dollars for fifteen years since 2008. Shabana is a full-time established professional realtor, licensed both in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has a team of professionals that are in her group so that all her client’s needs are met. Shabana values are integrity, passion, openness, courage, cohesiveness and is results oriented.
Assisting her clients to get the best real estate deal is the highest priority. Shabana cares about her clients and makes sure each transaction goes as smoothly as possible. She has personal experience in commercial, investment, and land development projects. Shabana is an advisor on real estate development projects. Shabana is an expert in the use of current technology, e-tools, and resources in real estate, legal and information technology utilizing her experience to benefit her clients and customers.
Shabana completed her bachelor’s in law in 1994 and bachelors in psychology in 1991 from Aligarh Muslim University, India. She is a certified Paralegal from Boston University School of Law and has a diploma in real estate from Weichert Real Estate School. Shabana is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Pennsylvania Association of Realtors and Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors. She is multilingual and a highly educated professional real estate expert. She is a liaison with local government officials representing homeowners. Shabana also volunteers her time in community service to support her local communities.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. TALAT HASAN, Founder Sensys Instruments in 1996, One of the first Indian High Tech companies in Silicon Valley California, USA. Alumna: Aligarh Muslim University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Talat Hasan is a founder of one of the first Indian high-tech companies in Silicon Valley, and the first Indian woman to start a high-tech company. She founded Prometrix Corp. in 1983 and later Sensys Corp. (where she was Chair and CEO), both of which developed innovative products for the semiconductor industry and were eventually acquired by KLA-Tencor. She has also been an active high technology investor for the last 20 years, through her family fund, Hitek Venture Partners.
Talat got her bachelor's degree in physics at Aligarh Muslim University and a master's in Solid State Physics at Oxford. She returned to India and worked at a Solid-State Physics lab for three years. In 1977, she moved to California with just $20 in her pocket. She had just married Kamil Hasan who was teaching structural engineering at Stanford. Within two weeks of arriving in the USA she was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent major surgery and a grueling one year of chemotherapy and recovered completely. Talat began working as a scientist at Signetics Corporation/Philips Research Labs in Sunnyvale, conducting research in semiconductor manufacturing.
Talat is also the co-founder and current Board Chair of India Community Center, founded in 2003. Ms. Hasan has served 2 terms on the founding Board of the US India Science and Technology Endowment, established by the governments of both countries to provide funding for joint R&D and entrepreneurial activities. She is on the advisory board of several non-profit organizations such as Roshni and is a former trustee of AIF (American India Foundation). With her husband Kamil, Talat has established the "Hasan Family Foundation" in the US and the "Nurul Hasan Educational Foundation" in India. The Foundation in India provides scholarships for students from under-privileged sections of India at several major schools and universities in north India. In addition, the Foundation has set up Digital Equalizer (DE) Computer Centers in Indian schools together with AIF. The Hasan family is also actively involved in supporting the arts, education, and non-profits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Talat and Kamil endowed a chair in Indian classical music, co-endowed another Indian classical music program, supported the establishment of an Entrepreneurship Center.
Impassioned Authors, Writers and Poets
The inspirational essayists, authors, fiction and travel writers, poets, translators write in many languages- in English, Urdu, Hindi and also translate from local Indian languages, Assamese, and Malayalam. They are scholars, cultural activists, teachers and promoters of Urdu, women’s rights advocates, multifaceted poets, managers, and painters, and have also served as member of the Advisory Council for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women. Some works include Airplane mode, Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year, Beginning Hindi, and the Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism. They grew up in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kashmir, Kerala, Bihar, and Assam before immigrating to the US.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . FAUZIA FAROOQUI, Poet, writer. Lecturer, South Asian Studies. Princeton University. New Jersey. Alumna: Lucknow University, Lucknow India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Fauzia Farooqui is a scholar, a poet, a fiction writer, and an Indian cultural activist. Fauzia teaches Urdu, Hindi, and South Asian Studies courses at, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University. Her academic interests are Urdu-Hindi, South Asian literature, literary criticism, Indian culture, and gender studies. Both her research and teaching projects involve inter-disciplinary approaches. Her literature courses often explore connections between literary texts or trends and their socio-political contexts. As an Indian cultural activist, she is interested in various genres of Indian performing arts, particularly the rich oral literary traditions of India, including folk songs, storytelling, and poetry recitation.
Farooqui’s publications include a monograph on Urdu prose poetry, and “Beginning Urdu” and “Beginning Hindi,” parallel introductory Hindi and Urdu textbooks. She has also published various pieces of original poetry, short stories, and literary criticism articles. Beginning Urdu is a first-year textbook designed to help learners acquire the language by using it in real-life situations. The book and its accompanying audio files-available on the Press website-include clear explanations of language structures; engaging activities; and an organizational format that makes it easy to chart student progress.
Prior to joining Princeton, she taught at the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Urdu literature from Lucknow University, India. Fauzia served as the executive director of Samanvay Space. Samanvay is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to preserving and promoting all forms of Indian arts both locally and globally. It organizes cultural events, supports artists, works with local communities, and collaborates with organizations and institutions to create a space where art, culture, and community come together.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. NAIYER JAHAN, Urdu Poet & Promoter, former Chairperson of Urdu Markaz International, Jacksonville, Florida. Alumna: Government Girls School, Amrawati, Maharashtra, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Naiyar Jahan is an inspiration to many through her strength of character, charitable works, and a deep love of the Urdu language, which has led her to become one of the foremost promoters of Urdu in North America for the past fifty years. Naiyar founded and served as Chairperson of Urdu Markaz International, a literary society in Los Angeles. She took the lead in organizing annual International Mushairas and other literary gatherings. The aim was to support and promote new literary talent. Through Naiyar’s fund-raising efforts, Urdu Markaz was able to provide large monetary awards to new artists. Her efforts in promoting the Urdu language earned her multiple accolades, including Rajiv Gandhi‘s personally awarded recognition for service to the Urdu language.
Naiyar was born in 1934 and completed her schooling at the Government Girls School in Amravati Maharashtra. She was the first Muslim girl to top the Maharashtra board exams. Her talent for poetry became apparent at an early age of four when, on the spot, she composed the second half of her uncle’s Urdu couplet. She continued her passion for learning and poetry even after becoming a wife and mother, obtaining a degree in law, and studying renowned poets. Unfortunately, in 1971, at the age of 36, Nayyar became a widow with three young daughters, after the violent demise of her husband in Bangladesh. From there her life took a different turn and she migrated to the United States with her daughters in the early 1970’s, with the assistance of her brother.
Naiyar continued her love of the Urdu language in the US. She gathered the small, scattered South Asian community and organized local Mushairas. These grew in number and by the mid 1980’s Naiyar took a key role in establishing the first network of US cities that would host international Mushairas with prominent South Asian poets. Naiyar's eventful, and at times tragic life gave her the life experiences to compose meaningful poems, ghazals, and short stories. Besides being an accomplished poet and short story writer, Naiyar’s love of reading led her to have the largest private collection of Urdu literature in the continental U.S. Recently she donated her Urdu library containing over 3000 volumes to the Houston Community Center, making it the first public Urdu libraries in North America.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . NINA HAMZA Children's Book Writer and Internal Medicine Doctor. Minnesota, Minneapolis. Alumna: Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. Click side arrow for profile details.
Nina Hamza is a writer who happens to be a physician, or a physician who is also a writer. Nina was born in Kerala, and lived in England, Libya, and Saudi Arabia. She moved back to India to attend high school at the Kodaikanal International School and completed her medical studies (MBBS)at Kasturba Medical College in Manipal.
Nina, who moved to the US in 1998, works as an internal medicine doctor bu tfound her second career as a writer a little later in life. With her first book published at the age of 47, she calls herself a geriatric debut writer. Shelives in Minnesota and credits the weather for her writingcareer. One very cold winter she triedto build a backyard ice-skating rink. It seemed ridiculous that there was iceeverywhere except inside her rink and she wrote an essay for Minnesota’s StarTribune about how “Everything I need to know in life I learned when I tried andfailed to put up an ice-skating rink.” From the moment she saw her name in the newspaper, she was hooked. Since then, she has had essays published in the Star Tribune, the Chicago Tribune and Indian Express. She covers topics related to being an immigrant, a Muslim, and everyday. Nina’s debut book, Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year, was sold in auction and was published by Harper Collins as part of a two-book deal. It has received starred reviews and was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. She hopes that through her writing she can show children that everyone’s stories are the same, despite differences in their religion and color of their skin. Hesecond book is set to be published in 2024.
Nina has suffered with Crohn’s disease since the age of 19, was diagnosed with colon cancer in her 40s and now has a permanent colostomy. Despite this, or because of this she likes tofind the lighter side of heavy topics when she writes. After seriousintrospection, Nina has realized that much of her life’s journey has been aresult of dumb luck and traveling the path of least resistance, but if thereare two things she hopes her children learn from her they would be: 1. Takecontrol of what you can and learn to accept what you can’t. 2.Don’t mess withother people’s joy and don’t let others mess with yours. In general, this hasworked well for her.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . NYLA ALI KHAN. Author The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism & Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma City Community College. Oklahoma, USA. Alumna: Bachelors from Srinagar, Kashmir. Click side arrow for profile details.
An eminent author and an academician, Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a professor at Rose State College, Midwest City, Oklahoma and taught as a Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma. Formerly, she was a professor at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Nyla is the author of four books, and several articles that focus on the political issues and strife of her homeland, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Her most noteworthy book, Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between Indian and Pakistan, discusses the plight of the women of her homeland Jammu and Kashmir.
Dr. Khan was born in New Delhi, India. Her family is based in Jammu and Kashmir, India and she was raised in the Kashmir Valley in India. Nyla received her Ph.D. in English Literature and her Masters in Postcolonial Literature and Theory at the University of Oklahoma. Dr Nyla Khan is the first Kashmiri woman to be appointed as a member of the Advisory Council for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women in 2015. Dr. Khan was recognized at the Oklahoma State Capitol for her human rights work in 2018 and honored by the Oklahoma League of Women Voters as one of the 100 Trailblazers for 2018. In March 2019, Khan was appointed Commissioner of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Woman by the Senator Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.
Dr. Khan is a member of the Harvard-based Scholars Strategy Network . She has served on the board of Generation Citizen, a nonprofit organization seeking to empower the younger generation through civics education. She was recently awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award & Silver Medal for her national public speaking and her bridge building work at the community and grassroots level in the state of Oklahoma. She was also selected as one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” for 2019 and “The Journal Record Woman of the Year” which recognizes women in Oklahoma who epitomize leadership in both their professional endeavors and in the communities where they live. A woman with strong work ethic and immense intellect, Dr Nyla Khan has earned many awards and accolades for her groundbreaking work.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree . PARVIN SHERE, Award winning poet, artist and musician. New York City. ; Alumna: Girls High School, Patna, Bihar. Click side arrow for profile details.
Parvin Shere is an award-winning author, poet, and visual artist. She has published four bilingual (Urdu/English) coffee-table books, including three collections of poetry and one travelogue. Her work has received global recognition and her book of poetry Nehal-e-Dil par Sahab Jaise (Raindrops on Parched Land) is regarded to be the first of its kind in Urdu literature, based on the single theme of “Mother”. Her travelogue Chand Seepiyan Samundaron Se (Pearls from the Ocean) was featured in the best seller list at McNally Robinson, one of Canada's most prestigious bookstores. Her poetry books, Kirchian (Fragments) and Nihal-e-Dil par Sahab Jaise (Raindrops on Parched Land), were awarded “Best Book of the Year'' in several Urdu poetry contests held across the U.S, U.K, and India. Renowned scholars have published books on Parvin’s literary contributions. Her travelogue has also been included in the Grade 10 curriculum for students in Maharashtra, India. Her books have been acquired by several international universities, schools, libraries, and art galleries, including the British Library (UK), Heidelberg University (Germany), and Moscow University (Russia). Her unique visual poetry and travel books have inspired a younger generation of South Asians, born and brought up in the west, to learn their mother tongue of Urdu.
Parvin was honored as a nominee for the prestigious “Women of Distinction Award” in Manitoba, Canada for her contribution to art, culture, and heritage. Her visual art has been exhibited across Canada, U.S, U.K., France, Germany, China, and India. She has won eight “Best Painting” awards in several art contests across Canada and India, including an Art Council Project Grant from the Government of Manitoba, Canada. She served on a prestigious jury panel for the Manitoba Society of Artists of Canada, a 121-year-old institution. After completing her schooling in Patna, India, Parvin migrated to Canada where she completed her undergraduate in Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba, Canada and studied Psychology at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. She worked in Film Classification at the Government of Manitoba, Canada. Parvin lives in New York and is currently working on a new book of poetry and travelogue to be published soon.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SOFIA ANJUM TAJ. Urdu Poetess, Artist & Author. Dearborn, Michigan, Alumna: Patna University, Patna, Bihar. Click side arrow for profile details.
Sofia Anjum Taj, born and raised in Patna, Bihar, India, is a renowned artist, poet, and painter. Her roots are deeply connected to the landscapes of her hometown, where the ruins of her village stir in her an insatiable passion for capturing beauty in the broken and forgotten. Sofia's work straddles the realms of prose, poetry, and painting, speaking eloquently about both her own experiences and those of the people from her past. After acquiring her B.A. Honors and M.A. degrees in Psychology from Patna University, she navigated her path towards the arts in London, England, and eventually, the USA, where she moved in 1983.
Sofia's struggle to secure a role within the art industry sparked an indefatigable determination, ultimately leading to the establishment of her own gallery. Here, she demonstrates the majesty of her craft, meticulously painting images that resonate with both her and her audience. Sometimes her canvas bears the harsh strokes of a broken house, at other times, it blooms with the soft hues of a shattered place reborn. Sofia's resilience led her to a teaching role where she shared her love for watercolor and acrylic painting, honing her skills at the Liberal Art College of Sutton, Surrey, UK, and extending her teaching to Divine Child School in Dearborn, Michigan.
Beyond the canvas, Sofia's creative prowess also extends to the literary world. As a published author, her books "Safar Ka Dard," "Yadon Ki Dastak," and "Pathjher Ki Lakiren," echo her artistic voice. Sofia has also received numerous accolades for her artistry in various art shows, further affirming her exceptional skills and creativity. Today, Sofia resides in Michigan, USA, continuing her association with Sofies Art Corner, a testimony to her dedication to arts education, where she imparts her knowledge of watercolor and acrylic painting to an array of students, both young and old.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. SYEDA JEBEEN S. SHAH. Writer, poet, translator, editor. Works for Promotion, Preservation of Assamese language. Astoria, New York. USA. Alumna: Cotton College, Gauhati University, Assam & AMU. Click side arrow for profile details.
Syeda Jebeen Shah is a writer, poet, translator, and editor who writes in Assamese and English. Jebeen also worked as production and compliance manager for 25 years. Her published works include Winged Horse: Contributing Editor for Late Syed Ahmed Shah's English translation of 76 songs of Bharat Ratna, Dr Bhupen Hazarika, published by Coolgrove Press, New York; Mamore Dhora Barma Porihit Jujaru (2022), Assamese translation of Robert Fisher's The Knight in Rusty Armor; Okonihotoloi Jebeen Jethair Pora (2023) An original book in Assamese for Children in verse form; A Poetic Platter. English translations of 170 Poems of 85 Assamese poets.
Growing up in Northeast India Jebeen studied at Cotton College Gauhati University in Assam and did her graduate studies from Aligarh Muslim University. She was exposed to American culture through books, films and two pen pals and when she arrived in New York City in the 1980's she did not experience any culture shock but found energy in the skyscrapers, people of various backgrounds and the city. Jebeen worked as hostess at an Indian restaurant and got to meet many celebrities from the arts and culture fields. In 1994 she joined a multinational American manufacturing company, Wiesner Products Inc., where she worked for 25 years, as longest serving employee, helping in the growth of 3 groups of companies as head of production and compliance. Jebeen contributed to policies, manuals, laboratory test protocols for all products of 19 different product lines. She had no formal education in management/ business/ law, and did own research, learning new things and about various laws relevant to industry, of different countries and the US federal and state governments. Her attention to detail, besides willingness and courage to learn and do new things helped her.
As the President (2021-2023) of the Assam Sahitya Sabha North America branch of the elite literary organization (since 1917), Ms Shah built poetic bridges between poets of different ethnic groups in Assam, and in North America, and edited the bilingual magazine. She has served earlier as -President of the AMU Alumni Association of New York. Ms. Shah also manages her artist husband's work for international exhibitions.
Administering Quality Education
Giving a lifetime to children’s and teachers’ education, the RBTC honorees are enhancing quality early childhood education, accomplished educators for medical careers, touching the lives of hundreds of children everyday as Executive Directors, Program Directors, Project Head of Early Childhood Education and Intervention. They hold masters and PhD degrees from Hamdard, Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh, Bhopal, and Osmania Universities in India.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ALMAS SIDDIQUI, Program Director Medical Careers. Novato High School, Novato, North California. USA. Alumna: Hamdard University, New Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Almas Siddiqui, PhD, is a highly accomplished educator working as program director of medical career pathways at Novato High School in northern California. As the lead instructor and program advisor, she prepares students for successful careers in the medical field by equipping them with essential academic, social, and professional skills. Almas ensures that students are exposed to a diverse range of healthcare careers and topics, offering a rigorous curriculum that is aligned with college requirements.
Dr. Siddiqui earned a Ph.D. in toxicology from Hamdard University in New Delhi, India. She did her postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado Health Science Center. Almas later joined the Buck Institute for research on aging in Novato, California as a senior scientist. Dr. Siddiqui has a strong scientific research background with over 14 years’ experience in drug discovery and development within the field of neurodegeneration. She authored many scientific articles on neurodegenerative disorders. She had a breadth of experience mentoring students, and she organized seminars and conferences like the Gordon seminar on oxidative stress and diseases to support higher education for students and young scientists. With over fourteen years of experience in drug discovery and development, particularly within the field of neurodegeneration, Almas has also made significant contributions to scientific research and project management.
Dr. Siddiqui cofounded a nonprofit organization in Marin County; this organization supports local families financially and emotionally by providing them with financial aid in times of need. Additionally, Almas has actively contributed to her community through various volunteering endeavors. She has mentored postgraduate students, trained high school and undergraduate students in scientific research, and educated Parkinson's disease patients about the disease's pathogenesis and available therapies. Her dedication to promoting education and advancing scientific knowledge is further exemplified through her role as an invited speaker and STEM coach in local educational institutions.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . AMTUL SUHAIL Executive Director at 2nd Generation, at Bright Horizons, Early Childhood Education, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Alumna: Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Amtul Suhail is the Regional Manager Operations at Bright Horizon. She served earlier as Executive Director at 2nd Generation Bright Horizons on Early Childhood Education programs and care for children in California. Amtul has been working at Bright Horizons since 2013 and overall, in the field of education since 1985. She has worked with all the age groups of children as teachers.
Amtul defines her passion to be working in the field of Early Childhood Education, the profession that makes all the other professionals to accomplish their goals. Amtul works in "High Touch Field" and touches the lives of hundreds of children every day. Ms. Suhail has also developed a business acumen to build and lead the business to the next level, building strong relationships with the people, as well as leading them to succeed to their full potential.
Amtul has a master’s in mass communication from Jamia Millia Islamia University, India and was part of the first batch of graduates in 1985. She moved to the United States in 1990 with my husband and two young children ages 5 months and 4 years old and started to work in childcare as a teacher . She was the only South Asian Teacher in the school and went through many struggles and discrimination but that did not deter her from my mission to be a successful leader. She became actively involved in the community outreach program in her area and Asian Pacific Islanders community. She coached and trained volunteers to work with compassion to provide care for children as well as senior citizens with utmost care and responsibility. She developed creative ideas and initiatives to create an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Her vision is to create a work environment for the employees that is free from racism, where all employees are given equal opportunities based on their talent and skills, and a place to recognize our biases and be aware that we can work to correct them. The goal is not to strive for perfection: it is to recognize that we are imperfect, but it is our responsibility to train ourselves to be more empathetic, understanding, and accountable when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. BINA HABIBI. Executive Director of the Children’s Center of Cicero Berwyn. Illinois,. Alumna: Bhopal University, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Bina Habibi, D.Ed., an established professional in the field of early childhood education, serves as the Executive Director of the Children's Center of Cicero Berwyn. With a holistic approach that incorporates insights from various fields and specialties, Dr. Habibi is dedicated to supporting parents and guiding them in navigating the complexities of child development. In addition to her role at the Children's Center of Cicero Berwyn, Dr. Habibi contributes to the field of education as an adjunct faculty member in the Teacher Education department at Northeastern Illinois University.
Bina possesses a diverse skill set that encompasses child development, special education, teaching, professional development, team building, project management, nutrition, and leadership from her 16 years of experience at the Children's Center of Cicero Berwyn.
Bina holds multiple master’s degrees in child development, Special Education, and Education, her first masters was from Bhopal, India. She also has a doctoral degree in Ethical Leadership from Olivet Nazareth University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Her advanced studies and experience have equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in providing top-notch education and support to young children.
Bina also actively participates in professional organizations and committees, including the Illinois AEYC Public Policy committee and the Early Childhood Education Advisory Board at NEIU. Through her involvement in these initiatives, she has contributed to shaping policies and practices that enhance early childhood education at a broader level. She continues to lead with passion, professionalism, and a genuine commitment to improving the lives of children and their families.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . SHAHEEN USMANI , Project Head of Early Childhood Education and Intervention, India at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Alumna; Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Click side arrow for profile details.
Shaheen Usmani, PhD, focuses her scholarship and expertise on early childhood education and early intervention as the Project Head of Early Childhood Education and Intervention, India at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Shaheen has involved U.S. faculty and students as well as the early childhood and early intervention providers in the development of educational programs working with marginalized children throughout India. Shaheen’s deep commitment and contribution to enhancing the education of young children and their families in India has inspired professors, medical doctors, psychologists, teachers and parents in India and the United States.
Dr. Usmani has led the effort in developing a Memo of Understanding between Brooklyn College and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and a partnership with faculty at JMI. The partnerships have led to numerous projects in both southern and northern India, which show both the breadth and depth of her work. She works with an Anganwadi (pre-school) in a remote Lahadara village and the Gonda Child Protection Home for foundlings in Uttar Pradesh and provides intensive teacher development for the innovative Sir Syed National Schools in Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur and Sardhana. Shaheen works within the medical community, influencing their work with young children with disabilities. She has conducted early intervention training for the Iqraa International Hospital and Research Center faculty and physicians in Kozhikode, Kerala.
After receiving her Ph.D. in Education from Aligarh Muslim University - India, Dr. Usmani taught in the education department at AMU before becoming an associate professor at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Education at Jamia Millia Islamia and then Professor and Department Chair of Adult and Continuing Education, where she developed programs to help communities with high educational and health care needs. During her time as a professor at JMI she developed Project Rehbar, a model literacy and skill enhancement curriculum for gardeners and janitors at the University. Shaheen moved to the US in 2011 after a full career in India to apply her skills to enhancing the education of young children in India.
RBTC100 USA Honoree. YASMEEN QADRI. Director EdConsultations. Professor Teacher Education Program. Valencia College, University of Central Florida. Orlando. Alumna: Osmania University, Hyderabad. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Dr. Yasmeen Qadri is an exemplary professor in the Teacher Education Program at Valencia College, a leading community college in the USA. Since she migrated to the USA in 1979, she has made a significant impact in training teachers to be agents of peace and promoting a positive image of Muslims not only on college campuses but in the community. She has always taken pride in her Muslim-Indian American identity and is an inspirational mentor, orator, and role model.
Dr. Qadri received her master’s in psychology from Osmania University, master’s in social sciences and Doctorate in Education from the University of Central Florida. Her extensive research, presentations, and publications reflect her commitment to diversity, cross-cultural, and interfaith understanding. She has received numerous Endowed Chairs in instructional advancement and leadership. Dr. Qadri was nominated for the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development award and Faculty Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. A Sabbatical award enabled her to collaborate peace work with educational institutions through her “Journey of Peace to the Middle East, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia”. Other prestigious awards she received were the Muslim Academy of Central Florida’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Muslim Women’s Organization’s GEM Award, and Muslim Ambassadors for Peace Advisor of the Year Award. As the founding director of FAME (Florida Association of Muslim Educators), and EdConsultations, LLC, with focus on excellence in homeschooling, conflict transformation, family/social issues and leadership training, Dr. Qadri has influenced hundreds of young people and families. After the sudden loss of her husband in 2021, she started a grief support group that empowers widows: Muslim Widows Rise.
Dr. Qadri also co-founded the Muslim Academy of Central Florida, the first full-time Islamic school in Central Florida, the Peace and Justice Institute, and the Muslim Ambassadors for Peace at Valencia. Dr. Qadri was the first Muslim woman delegate from the US invited at the World Congress on Civic Education in Budapest, Hungary, presenting democracy in Islam. She represented Valencia at the International Conference on Teacher Education in the Muslim World in Malaysia.
Creative Contributors to the Arts & Media
The RBTC arts and media honorees are filmmakers, visual artists, journalists and producers, art historians and curators. Their work is changing the narrative about Muslim women, supporting reporting on women’s and minority issues, taking forward Islamic arts curation, preserving culture and heritage, building human connections through Arabic calligraphy, giving voice to the marginalized and strengthening bonds across communities through creativity. They are alumni of Indian educational institutions from the cities of Delhi, Srinagar, Patna, Baroda, Chennai and Nainital.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . AMBARIEN ALQADAR. Film Maker, Assistant Professor (Film Directing) at the School of Cinematic Arts, DePaul University, Chicago. Alumna: Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
With her life packed in two suitcases, Ambarien Alqadar arrived in the US on one of the biggest snowstorms in New York to start teaching at The Rochester Institute of Technology Film & Animation Program in New York. She continued the legacy of her father- a first generation college student who went on to complete his engineering masters from Delhi IIT. Following his belief in education as a path to empowerment, Ambarien charted her journey seeking personal and artistic freedom. She is a screenwriter and film director, and her feature length screenplay- Nisa (Woman) recently won The Emerging Voice in Indian Cinema Award at The Writers Ink where it was acknowledged for a fierce and unique point of view that takes us through the joys, laughter, dreams, and aspirations of Muslim women, and counters a narrative of victimhood. It received the maximum queries for production from prominent Indian and international companies and Ambarien is working on translating the script to screen currently.
Shaped by the experience of growing up in Jamia Nagar- a neighborhood on the margins of New Delhi, famous for its crushing lack of resources, police atrocities and delicious biryani, Ambarien tells universal stories with a culturally specific lens. ‘Who Can Speak of Men?’- her first documentary, was acclaimed as ‘revolutionary in its portrayal of Indian Muslim women’, BFI London. Bird Woman- her work in progress screenplay was selected to The Athena Screenwriters Lab NYC 2019 and shortlisted at Sundance. Her films- The Ghetto Girl & Four Women and a Room have won honors at Mumbai International Film Festival, International Film Festival of India, IDSFF Kerala, SIGNS Kerala, Karachi International Film Festival, Farocki Academy, Berlin and others.
Ambarien studied at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and Temple University, USA where she was a Fulbright Fellow. She is an Assistant Professor (Film Directing) at the School of Cinematic Arts, DePaul University, Chicago. Ms. Alaqdar has held teaching positions at The Anwar Jamal Kidwai Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia, India and The School of Film & Animation, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, previously.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . ASHWAQ MASOODI, Journalist. Neiman Fellow at Harvard University. Boston. Alumna: Mallinson Girls School, Srinagar, Kashmir, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Ashwaq Masoodi, an award-winning journalist, is Story Editor with the Asia Team of Global Press based in Washington DC. Ashwaq, a Nieman fellow at Harvard University in Cambridge, was formerly a longform writer for the Mint newspaper, one of India's leading business and financial dailies, reporting on the lives of the marginalized communities in India. She writes on gender, caste, human rights, and social inequality. She strongly believes in the power of the written word, and attributes most of her understanding of the complexities of society to journalism. Ashwaq has previously worked with the Press Trust of India and the Asian Age newspaper.
Ms. Masoodi received the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism award, for Uncovering India Invisible in 2016. Before this, she received The Society of Publishers in Asia award for excellence in reporting on women’s issues, for her series on human trafficking. Internationally, her work has been published in The Atlantic, Guernica and The New York Times City Room Blog. Ashwaq explores ways to battle stereotypes and improve reporting on Muslims, the largest religious minority in India, and is examining how the scarcity of Muslims as storytellers contributes to unconscious bias in the media.
Ashwaq has a Master of Science in Magazine Writing from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; a Post Graduate Diploma in Print Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi; Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication Multimedia Production from Kashmir University. She is also a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru master’s Fellowship for leadership development. Ashwaq moved to the USA in 2019 to join as a Fellow at the Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism.
RBTC100 USA Honoree . NAVINA NAJAT HAIDAR , Art historian and Curator, Head of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Alumna: St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. Click side arrow for profile details.
Navina Najat Haidar is an art historian and has been the curator of Islamic art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 1999. Haider was appointed to head the Metropolitan Museum's Department of Islamic Art in 2020. Prior to that, she was the curator in charge of coordinating the Metropolitan Museum of Art's New Islamic Galleries project, where she directed and oversaw the construction of new galleries and installations, including the installation of a Moroccan court within the museum's premises, described by The New York Times as ‘intelligent as it is visually resplendent’. She helped lead the planning of the Museum's Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which have welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors since they opened in November 2011.
During her career as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Navina curated several well-received exhibitions. In 2015 she curated an exhibition of art from the Deccan plateau in India titled Sultans of Deccan India, 1500–1700: Opulence and Fantasy (2015) with Marika Sardar. The exhibition was very well-received, with the Wall Street Journal describing the collection as "...wonderfully contextualized," The New York Times noting that the exhibition was curated to create a "...comfortable lean-in intimacy....enhanced by the curators’ determination to display some works in a strikingly fresh manner." It was followed by a publication authored by Haidar and Sarkar titled with the same name as the exhibition. The book won the Foreword Reviews' Book of the Year Award. In 2016, Haidar curated a collection of Rajput art for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was also well-received and accompanied by a collection of essays on Rajput art, including one authored by Haidar.
Navina was educated in India, and spent parts of her childhood in Afghanistan, Bhutan, and New York, because of her father's diplomatic postings. She did her schooling at Bal Bharati School in Delhi, Lawrence School Sanawar and St. Stephen's College, Delhi University. She later studied at Oxford University, where she completed a doctorate in art history, studying the Kishangarh school of painting.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree . SALMA ARASTU, Painter and Entrepreneur at Salma Arastu Collections, Berkeley, California. Alumna: Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
As a woman, artist, and mother, Salma Arastu works to create harmony by expressing the universality of humanity through paintings, sculpture, and poetry. At birth she was given the life-defining challenge of a left hand without fingers. After graduating in Fine Arts from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, India, she lived and worked in Iran and Kuwait before landing at Pennsylvania USA in 1987.
She was invited to Germany twice, as a Resident Artist in 2000 at Schwabisch Gmund and in 2011 at Westphalia Wilhelm University in Münster to publish her paper “Art Informed by Spirituality” in the publication on the International Symposium: ‘God Loves Beauty: Post Modern Views on Religion and Art. She has presented her work and given talks at Stanford University, Commonwealth of San Francisco, Seattle University, Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, and Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, St. Louis Missouri. She was invited to Morocco for one-month Artist Residency Program in March of 2018 through Green Olives art Gallery.
As a visual artist she has had 45 solo shows nationally and internationally and has won several prestigious awards including the East Bay Community’s Fund for Artists in 2012 and 2014 and 2020. The City of Berkeley’s Individual Artist Grant Award in 2014, 2015, and 2016. She has public art pieces on display in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and San Diego, California. Her paintings are in the collections of several museums and Educational Institutions like ISNA Islamic Society of North America, Washington, DC, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, CA, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, The County of Alameda, Oakland, CA, Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, St. Louis University, St, Louis, Missouri, Counseling Office in St. Louis. Missouri, Al Mayya LLC, Fujairah -UAE, 9/11 Memorial Museum, New York, NY, Islamic Museum of Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Artsquest, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, St. Luke's Hospital, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Counseling and Wellness Center at University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, State Museum of the Arts, Harrisburg, PA, Museum of Modern Art, Hyderabad, India.
She has also written and published six books on her art and poetry. Dard Ki Seedhiyan- Poem Collection in Hindi, 1981, The Lyrical Line 2008, Turning Rumi: Singing Verses of Love Unity and Freedom, 2012, Unity of Sacred Texts and Symbols, 2014, Celebration of Calligraphy, 2015, Our Earth: Embracing All Communities, 2021. She is the owner of “Your True Greetings”, An Islamic greeting cards company and recently she has established a nonprofit business “Oneness Projects” to continue her legacy of oneness, connecting humanity with soil and soul.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ZEBA WARSI, Foreign Affairs Producer. PBS News. Washington DC USA. Alumna: Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Zeba Warsi is an award-winning broadcast journalist from India, working as a foreign affairs producer for PBS NewsHour in Washington DC. With a focus on immigration, women's rights, and human rights, Zeba brings attention to human-centric stories through her reporting and long-form special projects.
Zeba attended the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, where she pursued Television Broadcasting and Broadcast Journalism. Zeba also obtained her bachelor’s degree in mass media, with a specialization in Mass Communication/Media Studies, from KC College in Mumbai in 2013. This solid foundation has laid the groundwork for her successful career in journalism.
For over eight years, Zeba closely covered significant issues in India, such as the rise of populist nationalism, religious violence, hate crimes, social movements, and sexual violence. She served as a special correspondent with CNN-News18, CNN's affiliate in India, based in New Delhi. Her in-depth reporting and investigative work earned her recognition and accolades. After moving to the US, Zeba Warsi completed the advanced program of M.A. Politics at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in May 2022 for experienced journalists from around the world.
Throughout her career, Zeba has received several notable awards and recognition. She won the UNFPA Laadli Award for Gender Sensitivity in 2021 for a feature that explored how protest politics in India acquired feminist undertones. In 2020, she was honored with the "Young Professional of the Year" award at the ENBA Awards for her exceptional reportage on the anti-CAA protests, Delhi Riots, and the Coronavirus Pandemic. Additionally, she received the 2019 Red Ink Award Special Mention for Outstanding Journalism in the Human Rights category. Zeba was also a finalist at the 2019 Asian TV Awards in the Best News Story category for her investigation on child sex trafficking.
Zeba has worked extensively on special series and shows, including Reporter's Project, a weekend show involving in-depth ground reporting on political news events and social issues. She also anchored the election special weekend show called Youngistan, a youth-based debate show on CNN-News18.
RBTC 100 USA Honoree. ZEYBA RAHMAN, Director, Building Bridges Program Doris Duke Foundation. Global Arts Leader. New York. Alumna: All Saints School, Nainital, India. Click side arrow for profile details.
Zeyba Rahman is the director for the Building Bridges Program at the Doris Duke Foundation, New York. Zeyba oversees the program’s grantmaking to support national efforts, working with U.S. Muslims, to increase mutual understanding and well-being among diverse populations for the benefit of building stronger, inclusive communities. Zeyba’s love for performing arts and film has led to a decades long career as a curator, artistic director/producer and now philanthropy professional in application of the arts for social justice. At the Doris Duke Foundation, her grants portfolio includes the Academy Award Nominated film, “Stranger at the Gate,” Pulitzer Prize Winning opera “Omar,” artists who have won the MacArthur Fellowship (also known as the MacArthur Genius Award) and numerous artists who have been nominated for or have won Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, and other Awards, such as Peabody. Twice honored by New York City’s government, Zeyba is the subject of two television profiles as a global arts leader.
Prior to joining the foundation in 2013, Rahman led an internationally recognized project as a creative director/producer to promote understanding between diverse communities. Her prior roles include director, Asia and North America, Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco; artistic director, Arts Midwest’s Caravanserai: A Place Where Cultures Meet; curator, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Mic Check Hip Hop; creative consultant, Public Programs, Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and later South Asia Galleries; and senior advisor, Muslim Voices: Arts & Ideas Festival.
Zeyba has dedicated herself to collaborative approaches that strengthen cross-community bonds to advance social change through creativity. She is a frequent public speaker whose topical writing includes the contribution of an essay to the New York University Press published anthology titled “Are the Arts Essential?” She serves as an advisor to Artworks for Freedom, a Steering Committee member for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture’s Music Awards and a director of the board for Grantmakers in the Arts.
Zeyba grew up in Aligarh, India where she completed her primary schooling at Our Lady of Fatima Public School.. For secondary schooling she studied at All Saints School in Nainital, India and immigrated to New York in 1968 with her parents. Her interests through school in India and Brooklyn, New York were unwaveringly in the arts, and she received her B.A. from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.
The RBTC global initiative was conceptualized in 2021. The initial idea was to have a global 100 list with honorees from across all countries. The concept evolved to have individual country compendiums. We are very appreciative of the positive feedback from the initial reviewers and honorees, since it was the very first time a list was being attempted. A very special thanks to all the nominees and honorees for sharing their profiles and briefs as well as nominations from their peers and networks.
Valuable nominations were provided by our Rising Beyond The Ceiling State Coordinators across India, Faiqa Saulat Khan (Madhya Pradesh), Miriam Fozia Rahman (Delhi), Sabiha Ahmad (Uttar Pradesh), Sahana Ahmed (West Bengal), Zoya Fatehally (Karnataka), and RBTC friends across the world who also shared the call for proposals. Special thanks to Faiza Abbasi (Aligarh), Huma Khalili (Delhi), Manal Ahmed (Bhopal), Ruha Shadab (Delhi), Fatima Chiba (Delhi), Qamar Rehman (Lucknow), A. Abdulla (Washington), Sana Rizwan (California) and Tazeen Beg (New York) for their substantive nominations. Thanks to Paran Amitava and Samreen Khan of LedBy team for the initial work on global profiles in 2021 from across several countries. Amber Beg joined the team as an intern in 2022 and provided research support and help in putting together summaries. The Federation of Aligarh Alumni Associations in the USA helped to disseminate the call for nominations across the USA and several were received from their illustrious alumni. Acknowledging visual artist Sabiha Hasan Sumbul (Lucknow) for the cover & design and Sabah Usmani (New York) for maps and illustrations.
We hope to make the RBTC 100 USA a periodic initiative to continue to shine the spotlight on the next generation of women, from the 100 million Indian women who identify themselves as Muslim and aspire to immigrate to the USA.
RBTC Global Leadership TeamFarah K. Usmani, Nishat Hasan, Rana Ali, Shaheen Usmani
Rising Beyond the Ceiling Global USA Team
Leadership Team: Farah Usmani (New York), Nishat Hasan (Texas), Shaheen Usmani( New York), Rana Ali ( New Jersey)
Co-Coordinators: Shaheen Usmani & Rana Ali
Contributors: RBTC State Coordinators [Miriam Fozia Rahman, Zoya Fatehally, Sahana Ahmed, Faiqa Saulat Khan, Sabiha Ahmad ] , Faiza Abbasi , Tazeen Beg, Manal Ahmed, Sana Rizwan, Qamar Rehman, Huma Khalili, and many RBTC friends across USA
Acknowledgements: Amber Beg ( research) Sabiha Hasan Sumbul (design), Paran Amitava & Samreen Ahmed & LedBy team (research/nominations)
A passionate champion of woman, DR. FARAH K. USMANI is the Chairperson of Rising Beyond The Ceiling, a global initiative to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Muslim women of India and contribute towards changing their stereotypical narrative. Dr. Usmani is an International Health and Development leader based in New York. She has experience of over twenty-five years working with the United Nations International Civil Service (UN-ICS) in several countries across all regions of the world and has provided policy, planning, programming, and technical leadership with a focus on women and girls. Prior to joining the United Nations in 1997, Farah worked with the public sector and non-governmental donor programs in India. She also serves as the Global Vice President of SAFAR Foundation, India which works on Supporting Action For Advancement and Rights of women, girls and marginalized populations.
Dr. Usmani has broken several gender stereotypes in her professional and personal life. She is the first woman from her home state of Uttar Pradesh, and the first Muslim woman from India, to work with the United Nations International Civil Service at Director level in New York. She was also the first women to top the All-India Medical Entrance Examination of Aligarh Muslim University in 1978, where she completed her medical studies. Dr. Usmani has received several awards and recognitions as well as merit fellowships from the World Bank and British Council. Besides service recognition awards and certificates from the United Nations, UNFPA, she is also the recipient of the 2021 Mahatma Award for Social Impact for contribution to women, girls, and minorities. Farah has an M.D. in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, India and a Master’s in Health Policy Planning and Financing given jointly by the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, U.K. London.
Epilogue by Co-Coordinator Dr. Rana Y. Ali
My own passion for medicine was ignited by my mother. In my earliest memories, she replaced stories of princesses and fairies with stories of doctors saving the world. My mother wanted me to be the first doctor in our family, and I grew up knowing I would be. After completing my MBBS degree from Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, India, I moved to the US in 1997. I pursued residency in Internal Medicine, and then fellowship in Pulmonary Medicine. I serve as a Pulmonary-Sleep medicine consultant in New Jersey while also holding the position of program director for the sleep medicine fellowship program at Ocean University Medical Center that I started in 2022. In addition, I enjoy working closely with medical students and residents as an assistant professor at the School of Medicine at Hackensack and Rowan University.
Working as a pulmonologist during the COVID-19 pandemic was the most humbling experience of my life, both professionally and personally. I witnessed the impact of the virus on patients, the healthcare system, and the community. Being bedside with patients when their own families were not allowed to be, reminded me why my mother wanted me to become a doctor. In the early days of the pandemic patients knew what intubation meant. It meant that while we all hoped they would survive that was not the reality. I remember a father still telling his children to “be nice to mom, I’ll be home soon” when he knew the truth. I remember every detail of the family where both parents passed away on the same day, leaving behind young children, saying their goodbyes on video. I learned how resilient people can be and how compassionate one must be. I was able to use the lessons learned through my experiences to coordinate care in India when the pandemic intensified there in 2021. We were reminded firsthand of the importance of global unity in times of crisis. I learned how we can put our differences aside and come together as a community. Looking back, all these years later, I don’t think of the lives we saved, but often think of all the ones we didn’t. During the hardest of times, the pandemic taught us how fragile we are, but it also brought out the best in people, and that’s how I choose to remember it.
I am humbled by the accomplishments of the remarkable women on this list. There are so many different journeys and paths to inspire everyone. For me, the stories of entrepreneurship, and stories of lives devoted to charitable work resonate the most, and I aspire to be more like them. The work and ideals of these women make me try to push myself beyond excellence in my own endeavors. Their stories serve as a reminder that contributions, whether big or sometimes seemingly small, possess the potential to make a meaningful difference in the world. I am always in awe of the women who came to the US in the earlier days, often the first Muslims, the first Indians in their community. They embody the purpose of this initiative “breaking the stereotype”, forging the paths for those who came after them, while lifting us up, and sharing their wisdom. We are working on a RBTC “rising stars” chapter of the younger generation of Muslim women from India who have unique perspectives and are making their mark in different sectors in the USA.
I hope to help fulfil our goal to amplify the voices of women so we can be inspired by them, while learning to inspire others.
Dr. Rana Y. AliCo-Coordinator, RBTC Global USA
Co-Coordinator, RBTC Global Team RANA Ali, MD, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine Expert New Jersey. Alumna: Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal. Click side arrow for profile details.
Rana has been a partner at Shore Pulmonary, a renowned Pulmonary and Critical Care physician group based in New Jersey, since 2012. She is also on the teaching faculty of the residency training program at Ocean University Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine in New Jersey. In Fall 2022, Rana launched the sleep medicine fellowship program at The Ocean University Medical Center, which she directs. Rana's exceptional clinical skills have earned her numerous awards throughout her career, and she has been recognized several times as a "Top Doctor" in Pulmonary Medicine by her peers in New Jersey. Rana's contributions to society extend far beyond her academic and professional accomplishments.
As a pulmonary/critical care physician, she courageously treated numerous COVID patients in New Jersey during the pandemic outbreak in early 2020, earning recognition for her strength and selflessness during these challenging times. When the pandemic struck her homeland of India in early 2021, Rana provided medical advice to front-line physicians on how to effectively manage COVID patients, offered pro-bono medical services remotely to patients in India, and partnered with organizations such as the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) to collect and distribute essential medical equipment from the USA to hospitals in need in India. Dr. Rana Yusuf Ali's journey in medicine is characterized by academic excellence and compassion, exemplifying the notion that professional success and a positive impact on the world can go hand in hand.