Sask.-born doctor, UN commissioner named to Forbes 30 under 30 list

A Saskatoon-born doctor has been named as one of the 30 physicians under 30 by Forbes magazine.

Dr. Alaa Murabit founded Voice of Libyan Women, now focuses on global health policy

Saskatoon-born Dr. Alaa Murabit is s a UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment and Economic Growth and a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate. (Submitted by Alaa Murabit)

A Saskatoon-born doctor has been named one of the 30 physicians under 30 by Forbes, the American business magazine.

Dr. Alaa Murabit lived in the city until she was 15 years old. After that, her family moved to Libya, where she enrolled — at that age — in medical school. Her family returned to Saskatoon and still lives there.

Several years later, Murabit founded the Voice of Libyan Women, a non-profit organization that champions women's participation in peace processes and conflict mediation.

With 15,000 submissions, Forbes's 30 Under 30 boasts a selection rate of less than four per cent, making the list more competitive than getting into universities like Harvard or Stanford.

"It's wonderful," Dr. Murabit said. "It was definitely an honour."

Murabit was named in the list's health care category. She serves as a UN high-level commissioner on health employment and economic growth and a UN sustainable development goals advocate, appointed by the UN secretary general.

She now focuses her attention on global health policy, and particularly how a lack of viable health employees can alter or create security risks within different countries.

"My greatest focus going forward is, 'How do we look at this huge gap in supply and demand in health care?'" she said. "[And] also in terms of the other occupations that contribute to a fully functioning society, to ensure that we don't find ourselves in positions where we're at risk of any external stresses or conflict."

Dr. Murabit's work has been recognized with a Marisa Bellisario International Humanitarian Award, and places on Newsweek's "25 under 25 to watch" and BBC's "100 top women" lists.

Her TED Talk, "What my religion really says about women," was the "TED Talk of the Day" and named one of four "moving TED Talks to watch right now" by the New York Times.

With files from The Canadian Press, Forbes Magazine