Eleni Tsigas

Eleni Z. Tsigas is the Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation. As a preeclampsia survivor herself, Eleni is a relentless champion for the improvement of patient and provider education and practices, for the catalytic role that patients can have to advance the science and status of maternal-infant health, and for the progress that can be realized by building global partnerships to improve patient outcomes.

She has served as a technical advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO) and on the Hypertension in Pregnancy Task Force created by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to develop the national guidelines introduced in 2013, as well as similar task forces for state-level patient safety initiatives in California and Florida. Eleni also serves on the National Partnership for Maternal Safety initiative, the Patient Advisory Board of IMPROvED (IMproved PRegnancy Outcomes via Early Detection), Ireland, and the Technical Advisory Group and Knowledge Translation Committee for PRE-EMPT (funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). Eleni is frequently engaged as an expert representing the patient perspective on preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy at national and international meetings, and has been honored to deliver keynote addresses for several professional healthcare providers’ societies.

Eleni has colloborated in numerous research studies, has authored invited chapters and papers in peer-reviewed journals, and is the Principal Investigator for The Preeclampsia Registry. A veteran of public relations, Eleni previously spent 8 years executing and managing strategic communications and public relations for technology and biotech companies with Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and for 6 years prior in the television industry. She is married, and has had two of her three pregnancies seriously impacted by preeclampsia.

Elliott Main, MD

Edna Adan Ismail

Edna was born in British Somaliland Protectorate and trained in the UK between 1954-1961 becoming the first qualified Nurse/Midwife in Somaliland and Somalia (Trained at: Borough Polytechnic/University of the South Bank, West London Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Clare Hall Hospital, St. Marks Hospital, Lewisham Hospital and West Middlesex Hospital).

In 1965 appointed by WHO to train midwives in Libya but returned home when husband became Prime Minister of Somalia in 1967-1969 and served as her country’s First Lady.

Between 1976-79 was first woman appointed to position of Director in the Ministry of Health. Started campaign against FGM in spite of great opposition and continues to fight the practice to this day.

1986, was again recruited by WHO as Regional Nursing and Midwifery Adviser. From 1987 to 1991, became WHO Technical Officer for the Eastern Mediterranean Region responsible for Maternal and Child Health including Gender issues and Harmful Practices such as FGM. Also earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, Clayton University, USA 1988.

From 1991 to 1997, was WHO Representative in Republic of Djibouti until retirement. In 1998, studied Health Care in Developing Countries, Boston University, USA.

Upon retirement from WHO, built and opened in 2002 the ‘Edna Adan Hospital’ in Somaliland. The hospital is a major referral facility and a teaching hospital for nurses, midwives and other health professionals including medical students and Anaesthesia Technicians.

Received numerous awards amongst which:

  • Commandeur Dans l’Ordre National du 27 Juin, Republic of Djibouti, 1997.
  • Honorary Doctoral Degree from Clark University, Massachusetts, USA, (2002),
  • Honorary Fellow, Cardiff University School of Nursing (2008),
  • Chancellor’s Gold Medal for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, 2010
  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from Ahfad University for Women, Sudan, 2013
  • Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, University of Pennsylvania, USA, May 2014
  • Recipient, Renfield Award for Global Health, University of Pennsylvania, USA, May, 2014.
  • Knighted by President Sarkozy ‘Chevalierdans l’ordre Nationale de la Legion d’Honneur’of France, 2010.
  • Entered to Medical Mission Hall of Fame, University of Ohio, USA, 2007
  • Entered to Hall of Fame, Women in Emergency Situations, Florida, 2013
  • December 2013, was named among the 100 most Influential people in Africa. 




Between 2002 and 2003 was the first and only woman Minister in the Government of Somaliland and served as Minister of Social Affairs and Family Welfare. Between 2003 and 2006, was Somaliland’s Foreign Minister.

In 2012, opened the Edna Adan University which trains Nurses, Midwives, Laboratory Technicians, Pharmacists, Anaesthetists and Public Health students.

Serves on many national and international commissions among which are:

  • Presidential Commission on Higher Education, Somaliland
  • President, organization for Victims of Torture
  • President, Somaliland Family Health Association
  • Council Member, Hargeisa University, Somaliland
  • Founder and Chancellor, Edna Adan University, Hargeisa, Somaliland
  • Board Member, Somaliland Development Corporation
  • UK Council Member, Lancet Global Commission on Safe Surgery
  • Chair, Hargeisa Water Supply Board

Todd Heiden

Dr. Priya Agrawal, BMBCh, MA, MPH, DFSRH

William Callaghan, MD, MPH