Dr. Jemilah Mahmood began her mandate as Under Secretary General for Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in January 2016. Under her leadership, she has established and Innovation Unit spearheading innovative finance and locally led innovation. IFRC in 2018 implemented the first zakat funded international program for food security and together with partners, won the top prize in the Global Islamic Fintech Award conferred by the Islamic Bank. In September 2018, she was awarded by the Istanbul Islamic Finance Consultancies as the “Trailblazer in Islamic Economy” for her leadership in the humanitarian sector.
Before joining the IFRC, Dr. Mahmood was the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations in New York. She is well known as the founder of MERCY Malaysia, which she led from 1999-2009. Her previous appointments include Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch at UNFPA; Senior Fellow at Khazanah Nasional Berhad in Malaysia’s Khazanah Research and Investment Strategy Division, and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Humanitarian Futures Programme at Kings College in London.
Dr. Mahmood has held many Board positions and is currently one of five civil society governors of the Commonwealth Foundation, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, Board member of the Responsible Finance Institute. Previously, she was a member of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and Chair of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund in the United Kingdom. She is also the recipient of numerous national and international awards for her contribution to civil society and work in support of marginalized communities, including the Kingdom of Bahrain’s inaugural Isa Award for Service to Humanity in May 2013 and more recently, the prestigious Merdeka Award 2015 for Outstanding Malaysians in the category of Community and Education.
Dr Mahmood is a Doctor of Medicine (MD) with a Masters in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists United Kingdom. She also completed the Senior Executive Management Program at IMD Lausanne and named the Most Valuable Participant in 2008.