Since 2010 when the UICC Board asked me to be an Ambassador for UICC and its members, I have made myself available to help UICC and the NCD Alliance work at the highest level to secure commitments from all countries to address cancer and the other NCDs. I feel part of the UICC family, caring for what it wants to achieve and bringing all my skills to help make that happen.
Coming from the heart of the developing world, and as CEO of a cancer foundation, I have extensive proven experience in addressing the challenges of cancer, and more importantly in finding practical solutions which improve cancer care and control in low- and middle-income countries.
I have developed a deep understanding of the dynamics of healthcare systems in low-resource settings and was personally involved in several global taskforces; committees and high-level meetings intended to design global cancer control strategies. I have also contributed to cascading these strategies down at regional and local levels, where country- based actions against cancer are implemented. This work was done through my active participation with WHO, IARC, IAEA, UICC, global and regional meetings on cancer and NCDs, and in my role as Honorary President of the Harvard Global Task Force for Expanded Access to Cancer Control and Care in the Developing World.
I have demonstrated great leadership, managerial, advocacy and fundraising skills. As CEO of KHCF, leading 110 staff, I created and founded the development, fundraising and advocacy core of the KHCF from its very beginning. I established, oversaw the development and implementation of the strategic vision and direction of the organisation and led by example in the practical implementation of that vision. Together with my team, we have creatively raised awareness and funds in Jordan, which involved creating programmes and campaigns that at the time were considered ground-breaking by many.
My interpersonal skills, and “can do attitude” and unrelenting passion and persistence, have played a major part in moving the cancer agenda from the shadow of taboos into making cancer a top priority agenda item in Jordan and the region.
Under my leadership, the KHCF has raised a staggering US $362 million in just over fourteen years, making it the largest source of grassroots financing for cancer in Jordan and the region. I intend to use my experience, creativity and innovation in fundraising to help UICC and its members around the world.
Furthermore, although I am not an oncologist or medical expert, I bring to the table two valuable perspectives: The first perspective is as a mother of a cancer survivor and an advocate who demanded equitable and qualitative cancer care on behalf of cancer patients. The other perspective is as a leading professional, working in the health industry that supplied cancer care, with a positive track record of impact despite great challenges and limitations.
Of note, KHCF has succeeded in creating an unprecedented strong grassroots movement in Jordan and the region towards the fight against cancer.
This year we won ‘Best use of social media’ and ‘Implementation of a successful campaign for an NGO’ in Jordan.
As a firm believer in financial access to care, KHCF transformed and led the Cancer Care programme for cancer coverage, helping thousands of patients get limited insurance for cancer treatment. Membership to this innovative programme has grown from 5,000 members to 140,000 members and continues to rise.
Coming face to face with the harsh reality of underprivileged cancer patients who have no one to turn to, compassion and humanity have to step in and step in fast. I was instrumental in establishing the Goodwill and Zakat Fund that helped mobilise sustainable donations and saved the lives of 1,700 underprivileged patients who would otherwise have faced a certain death. The fund has raised US $43 million.
Locally, as Honorary Chairperson of Jordan Breast Cancer Programme, I was a key player in driving the success of this national early detection programme. Before the programme, 70% of our women presented themselves at the late stages of the disease. After a mere six years of the establishment of the programme, this deadly percentage was halved to 35%, and we saw the emergence of stage zero.
As a global advocate for cancer control, I have focused on two major themes: NCDs and tobacco control.
I was honoured to have been chosen to deliver the keynote speech on at the first ever High-level meeting on NCD’s in 2011. As a believer of ‘Together we are stronger’, I will continue to support the NCD movement working with the NCD Alliance as it continues to do its great work around the world.
As a fierce anti-tobacco advocate. I am Chair of the Steering Committee of Tobacco Free Portfolios (a global initiative of UICC established with Dr King from Australia), and Ambassador for the Global Smoke-free Worksite Challenge. I will continue leading on these.
I recognise that the role of President of UICC must have experience in chairing board meetings and representing the organisation at the highest level. I have extensive experience in board governance. As a non-voting Director of the office of the Board of Trustees, I authored the governing bylaws for the KHCF Board and managed the office for the past 14.5 years, driving the strategy, agenda and all board governance work. It is a role I enjoy, and one which I look forward to doing for UICC.