Education & Community


Revolutionising humanitarian work
Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, a prominent humanitarian, played a pivotal role in establishing MERCY Malaysia, a highly successful national humanitarian organisation with a global reach. Her expertise in understanding complex cross-cultural issues, particularly related to the Muslim world, has made her a strong advocate for tolerance and human rights.

MERCY Malaysia, under Dr Jemilah's leadership, has become a role model for civil community organisations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, inspiring them to enhance their professionalism and influence.

Sowing the seeds
Born in Seremban in 1959, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah's interest in community service was nurtured by her parents and further developed during her education at Assunta School in Petaling Jaya. She received her medical degree from the National University of Malaysia in 1986 and pursued a specialisation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, earning a Master’s degree in 1991.

She also completed a business studies programme at the International Management and Development Institute (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and obtained a Fellowship from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the United Kingdom.


Catalyst for Change
In 1999, after a successful private practice at Ampang Puteri Hospital, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah felt a growing desire for more meaningful work. Although she considered joining Médecins Sans Frontières initially, she realised that shifting geopolitical sentiments would hinder her efforts to provide accessible help to those in need.

She felt strongly that there was a need to build capacity and a network of organisations to fill that gap.  Encouraged by her husband and family, she began exploring setting up a humanitarian organisation that could address this need which proved to be the catalyst for change in other organisations too. 

Driven by this realisation, she established MERCY Malaysia as a platform to revolutionise humanitarian work. Tan Sri Dr Jemilah's organisation swiftly gained prominence in the international emergency aid community and played a vital role in shaping the organisation's work both domestically and internationally.


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Raising the bar for humanitarianism
Throughout her career, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah's deep understanding of geopolitical complexities and her unwavering commitment to promoting tolerance and human rights have cemented her as a respected and influential figure in the field of humanitarian work. Her numerous contributions have significantly impacted the lives of countless individuals, serving as a catalyst for positive change – all of which had made her a winner of noteworthy awards and accolades.

In conclusion, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood's leadership and vision have revolutionised humanitarian work through the establishment of MERCY Malaysia. Her dedication to promoting tolerance, professionalism, and accessibility has inspired numerous organisations worldwide and continues to shape the global humanitarian landscape.

The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile.

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