Alaa Murabit is a medical doctor, a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth, one of 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, and a MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow.
Alaa’s TED Talk “What my religion really says about women” was selected as the TED Talk of the Day and one of four moving TED Talks you should watch right now by The New York Times.
Alaa completed high school in Saskatoon, Canada at the age of 15 Alaa and moved to Zawia, Libya where she enrolled in medical school and founded VLW at the age of 21. With a strong focus on challenging societal and cultural norms and utilizing traditional and historical role models Alaa champions women’s participation in peace processes and conflict mediation. Her programs, such as the groundbreaking “Noor Campaign” are replicated internationally.
Nicknamed “The Libyan Doogie Howser” by Jon Stewart and applauded for her innovative approach to security, Alaa acts as an advisor to numerous governments, regional bodies, international security boards, think tanks and organizations. She also serves as a board trustee for both International Alert and Keeping Children Safe.
An Ashoka fellow, Alaa is the youngest recipient of the Marisa Bellisario International Humanitarian Award by the Italian Government, was named the “International Trust Women Hero 2014” by The New York Times, “One of 25 women under 25 to watch” by Newsweek, a “100 Top Woman” by the BBC and the SAFE Global Hero.
Alaa received her Medical Doctorate in from the University of Zawiya in 2013, and went on to receive a Masters in International Strategy and Diplomacy with Distinction from the The London School of Economics and Political Science in 2016 where her research focused on securitization processes, with a dissertation titled “White Man’s Burden: Disease, Security and the Stigmatisation of the Periphery”.
Alaa was nominated to address the UN General Assembly multiple times, including during the Commission on the Status of Women opening session, and was nominated to address the UN Security Council during the 15 year anniversary of Resolution 1325.