Prof Marleen Temmerman, Director of Aga Khan University’s Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, East Africa (CoEWCH EA), has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), as an international honorary member, and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), as a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), following her election into the two Academies in 2022.
Founded in 1780, AAAS is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States (US). It honours the excellence as well as leadership of exceptional people from all disciplines and practices globally. Prof Marleen was granted the honour for her numerous leadership positions in academia, multilateral organisations, and governments in the light of her exemplary work in relation to health and rights for women, children and adolescents.
Academy members explore challenges facing societies, identify solutions, and promote nonpartisan recommendations that advance the public good. Their work has thus far helped to set the direction of research and analysis in science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy, education, the humanities, and the arts. “I am thrilled, honoured, humbled to be inducted as an International Member of these two prestigious US Academies, and very grateful to the many colleagues, friends, collaborators, and my extended global family without whom I would not stand here. Working with so many young people worldwide, I believe in a better future built on equity, diversity, and solidarity, leaving no one behind,” said Prof Marleen.
Prof Marleen joins other distinguished members including Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Colin Powell. International honorary members have included Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Mary Leakey, Noam Chomsky, and Nelson Mandela. The current members represent today’s innovative thinkers in every field and profession, including more than two hundred and fifty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.
Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), NAM is one of three academies that make up NASEM. Induction into NAM is considered one of the highest honours in the fields of health and medicine. It recognizes distinguished individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service and made major contributions to the advancement of medical sciences, healthcare, and public health. Prof Marleen was elected and consequently inducted into NAM for being an exceptional scholar and leader who has been at the forefront of responding to serious public health challenges, combatting social inequities, and achieving innovative discoveries.
NAM’s work and recommendations have shaped health research, practice, and policies that improve the lives of millions of people around the world. The Academy is currently working across disciplines and sparking innovative approaches to advance knowledge and accelerate progress in science, medicine, policy, and health equity. “The expertise of this extraordinary class of new members will be vital to informing the future of health and medicine for the benefit of us all,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau while welcoming the new members in 2022.
Other notable members of NAM include Ben Carson, Harold Amos, Kenneth L. Davis, and Nobel Prize winners Elizabeth Blackburn and Mario J. Molina.
Throughout her diverse portfolio of medical, political, and academic work, Prof Marleen has contributed to improvements in healthcare for disadvantaged populations and for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls globally. She has also established a worldwide network of universities collaborating in the field of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and adolescent health and translating evidence, data and innovation in best practices and policies with impact. Prof Marleen continues to be a vocal and ardent champion for the rights of women, children, and adolescents globally.