Our ​Leadership​​​​

SONAM Leadership Team​​​​​

School of Nursing and Midwifery (SONAM) has moved to a new leadership structure to drive excellence in performance in strategic areas including teaching/learning, research, clinical practice, outreach and innovation​. The new SONAM Leadership Team (SLT) includes the Dean, the Associate Dean, ​​three Assistant Deans and six Clinical Stream heads. SLT focuses on the School’s three core activities - research, education and clinical services.​​​


Dr Rozina Karmaliani​​​
Dean and Professor,​ AKU-SONAM, Pk

Dr Karmaliani is a longtime, prominent member of the Aga Khan University, AKU, and currently Professor and Dean at the AKU School of Nursing and Midwifery, AKU-SONAM. Additionally she is also a faculty member at the department of Community Health Sciences, the Brain and Mind Institute and the Institute for Global Health Development at the Aga Khan University, Karachi.

She did her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and diplomas in Midwifery and Nursing from AKU-SONAM, and also holds degrees in Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing and PhD in Nursing all from the University of Minnesota, USA, being the first Pakistani national, and first AKU-SONAM alumna to obtain a PhD in Nursing.

Dr Karmaliani has also held many academic leadership roles in nursing over the span of her career, and is an avid researcher in areas of adolescent and women mental health and violence against women, with projects under World Health Organisation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CIHR and others. 

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Dr Rafat Jan​
​Professor & Associate Dean, 
Outreach and Policy Uni​t​​​

​​Dr Rafat Jan is an al​​​umna of the founding batch of AKU-SONAM's Diploma in Nursing programme, 1983. Additionally, she holds an MScN degree from the University of South Carolina, and PhD from the University of Iowa, USA. 

With a strong passion for midwifery, Dr Jan became the founding Director of AKU’s undergraduate midwifery programme in 2009. She has also served as President of the Midwifery Association of Pakistan, as Chair of the South Asian Midwifery Alliance, and served for two terms as an elected board member of the International Confederation of Midwives, ICM.

Dr Jan has also been a member of the Prime Minister's Task Force since 2018, and was the first nurse elected as President of the Pakistan Nursing Council, PNC in 2015.

She currently serves ​as Professor, and Associate Dean of the Outreach and Policy Unit at The Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery, AKU-SONAM.​

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Dr Khairulnissa Ajani​​
​Assistant Dean, Teaching, Learning
and Undergraduate Programmes

​Assistant Professor and the Assistant Dean of  Teaching, Learning and Undergraduate Programmes at SONAM. Dr Khairulnissa Ajani provides support for the delivery of academic programmes at undergraduate level. Dr Ajani has studied Masters in Nursing with a distinction in thesis, and became the first Pakistani to receive a nationally-awarded PhD degree in Nursing in 2020, from AKU-SONAM. 

he is currently enrolled in the doctoral programme in Nursing at AKU. ​​​Her areas of expertise is education and curriculum development.​ 

Ms Ajani's clinical interest is in patient education on chronic diseases and her doctoral thesis is also on self-care and hypertension.​​ She has been associated with SONAM since 1997 and has served in various administrative positions concerning all the academic programmes offered at the School. In addition, she has also served in Medical, Surgical and the Emergency Room at the Aga Khan Hospital before starting her career as an educator.

She has a number of publications in national and international journals and has been invited to speak on various subject matters at national forum​s. 

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Watch Meet our alumni series | Khairulnissa Ajani


Dr Rubina Barolia
Associate Professor & Assistant Dean, 
Clinical Practice

​​​Dr Rubina Barolia works on improving the quality of clinical teaching and assessment of students through better preparation of clinical educators, joint appointments, faculty practice, and strengthenin​g liaison​ with clinical colleagues.

Dr Barolia completed her basic nursing
education follo​​wed by a Post-RN BScN degree and Masters in Nursing from AKU-SONAM. She completed her doctoral studies from the University of Alberta, Canada.

Dr Barolia has been associated with AKU since 1991 and has served in various clinical and administrative positions at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) and SONAM. She has worked extensively in acute care settings in different capacities. Her work on establishing Advanced Practice Nurse Masters Programme by creating clinical tract with acute care sub-specialty is extensive. She has also worked on developing Master's Program in Pakistan, Syria and East Africa. 

Her current research focuses on the prevention of non-communicable diseases. She has extensively worked on systemic reviews and evidence practice modules. 

Dr Barolia has also published her work in national and international journals. She has been awarded doctoral fellowship from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada; Betty Ford Medical Award, California, USA; and the Adult Health award from AKU. 

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Dr Tazeen Saeed Ali
Professor and Assistant Dean,
Research and Graduate Programmes

Dr Tazeen S. Ali looks after the academic and research projects at the School and is involved in teaching and offering consultancy in the areas of public health, social issues, gender inequality, reproductive health, epidemiology, social determinants and women mental health.​ Dr Ali has been associated with AKU for more than two decades and has worked as a ​ public and community health practitioner for over 10 years.​​​ 

​​She has also served in the development of community based organizations and welfare trusts and has chaired multiple committees that have leveraged her expertise in evidence based research and teaching practices. 

She has more than 100 publications and has supervised over 50 research theses for nurses and medical residents at graduate level. She has also been key note speaker and panelist in various national and international conferences.  ​​​

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