Ms Saima

Ms Saima Wazed

WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia

Saima Wazed took office as WHO Regional Director for the South-East Asia Region on 1 February 2024 for a five-year term. In this role, Ms. Wazed directs international health work in 11 countries with a population of over 2 billion people.

Prior to taking up this role, Ms. Wazed served as advisor to the WHO Director-General on mental health and autism, and was a member of WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health. She was Chief Advisor for the National Mental Health Strategic Plan for the Government of Bangladesh, Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Focal Person for disability for the Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief in Bangladesh.

She was Commissioner of Chatham House’s Commission for Universal Health, Associate Fellow in the Global Health Programme at Chatham House, Thematic Ambassador for ‘Vulnerability’ of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, and Chairperson of Shuchona Foundation in Bangladesh.

A licensed School Psychologist, Saima Wazed’s career in public health began in 2002 when she graduated with a M.Sc. degree in Clinical Psychology and obtained her license to work as a mental health counsel or under the Florida Department of Health. Her special interest in children’s mental health led to her obtaining her Specialist degree in School Psychology, which enabled her to work in both medical and educational settings.


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