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,​ School of Nursing
and Midwifery, Pakistan

Dr Rozina Karmaliani is a longtime prominent member of the Aga Khan University, AKU, having served as a faculty member in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, SONAM, and the Medical College's Community Health Sciences. 

Dr Karmaliani also holds the Khatijabai Mohan Manji Dharolia endowed Professorship. Before taking on the deanship on January 1, 2020, she has held various leadership positions in the School and has led its undergraduate and graduate​​​ programmes.​

She has been steering SONAM to use its institutional excellence to advance nursing, and to engage and develop leaders and educators in healthcare. Besides Pakistan, she has worked for the development and promotion of higher education in nursing in East Africa, Afghanistan, Syria and Egypt. ​

Dr Karmaliani has a PhD in Nursing; Master of Public Health, and Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Minnesota; Bachelor of Science in Nursing from AKU and diplomas in Midwifery and Nursing from the Aga Khan Health Services and AKU respectively. She is the first SONAM alumna to obtain PhD in Nursing in 2000.

She has received the Juran Fellowship Award for "Leadership in Quality" and the "Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals" from the University of Minnesota; she has also been a recipient of various national and international research grants. Dr Karmaliani's areas of research include women, child and adolescent health, with special focus on the prevention of gender-based violence, promoting mental health and preventing suicides from a health systems perspective.

While SONAM enjoys the privilege of being the top nursing school in the region, Dr Karmaliani's leadership focuses on being a transformative force in improving health whilst developing and strengthening research capacity for the School, and further integrating research into education and practice. She is creating a shared vision for the School and empowering the faculty and staff to implement that vision.

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

Assistant Professor and the Assistant Dean of  Teaching, Learning and Undergraduate Programmes at SONAM. Ms Khairulnissa Ajani provides support for the delivery of academic programmes at undergraduate level. Ms Ajani has studied Masters in Nursing with a distinction in thesis from AKU-SONAM. 

​She 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
Assistant Dean, Clinical Practice

​​​Associate Professor and the Assistant Dean of Clinical Practice at SONAM, 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
Assistant Dean, Research and
Graduate Programmes

​​Professor and the Assistant Dean of  Research and Graduate Programmes at SONAM, 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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