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Women's History Month Spotlight: Dr. Rania Awaad

In honor of Women's History Month, we recognize Psychiatrist Rania Awaad, who is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She is the Director of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab and Stanford University's Affiliate Chaplain. She also serves as the Associate Division Chief for Public Mental Health and Population Sciences, as well as the Section Co-Chief of Diversity and Cultural Mental Health. In addition, she is a faculty member of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University. "Through community partnerships established by the Stanford Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Awaad is currently the Psychiatric Director of the El Camino Women's Medical Group where she pursues her interest in women's mental health" ("Profile | Rania Awaad, MD").

Dr. Awaad was born in Cairo, Egypt, but moved to New York at age three because her mother was recruited as a translator for the United Nations in Manhattan, and her father was a physician.

Dr. Awaad is "particularly passionate about uncovering the historical roots of mental health care in the Islamic intellectual heritage" ("Profile, Rania Awaad, MD"). Dr. Awaad was the first female professor of Islamic law at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. While at Zaytuna, she taught Shafi'i jurisprudence, women's jurisprudential issues, and the Quran. She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford, where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Dr. Awaad is recognized nationwide as a leader in Muslim mental health and has been invited to present her work at national conventions in Washington, DC by Presidents Obama and Biden, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health & Human Services (HHS), and Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Dr. Awaad successfully established the first Muslim Mental Health Community Advisory Board (BAMMH CAB) in the US. In addition, she has established multiple Muslim mental health clinics as well as custom-tailored clinical and educational training programs for clinicians and religious and community leaders to address the mental health needs of Muslim communities.

Dr. Awaad has multiple recognitions that reflect her consistent contributions to the Muslim community and humanity.

Honors & Awards:
Department Faculty Professional and Leadership Award, Stanford University School of Medicine (2021)
Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Stanford Psychiatry Residency Program (2021)
Stanford Leadership Development Program, Stanford University (2020-2021)
Top 25 Faith and Spiritual Influencers of 2020 Award, HolyTV (2020)
Community Achievement Award for exceptional commitment to promoting mental health wellbeing, ACCESS California (2019)

For more information about Dr. Awaad, Mental Health, and/or the Muslim community, please click the links below: