Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Sania Nishtar: Acting with intent

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 16 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1781
Duncan Smith


Sania Nishtar is a Pakistani physician. She graduated from Khyber Medical University in 1986, did her PhD at King’s College, London, and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. She is the founder and president of Heartfile, a policy think tank in Islamabad. Nishtar served as a minister in the Pakistan government in 2013 and was its nominee for director general of the World Health Organization in 2017, making the final shortlist of three. She currently co-chairs WHO’s independent high level global commission on non-communicable diseases, as well as the World Economic Forum’s global future council on health and healthcare and the US National Academy of Sciences’ global study on healthcare quality.

What was your earliest ambition?

To become a scratch golf player. I never made it below a …

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