Saima Wazed

Associate Fellow, Global Health Programme


Saima Wazed is a licensed school psychologist and expert on neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health. Her efforts have led to international awareness, policy and programme changes and the adoption of three international resolutions at the UN and WHO.

She is currently an advisor to the DG of WHO on Mental Health and Autism, and a member of the WHO’s Expert Advisory Panel on Mental Health. In 2020, she was appointed the Thematic Ambassador for ‘Vulnerability’ of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. She is the chairperson of the Bangladesh National Advisory Committee for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and chief advisor for National Mental Health Strategic Plan Working Group.

She is also the focal person for disability for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief in Bangladesh, to ensure that mental health and issues related to persons with disabilities are incorporated into the international guidelines developed by UNISDR.

Saima was WHO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in the Southeast Asia region prior to which she was WHO’s regional champion for autism in South Asia. Ms. Wazed has been educated in Bangladesh, India, and the US.

Currently she is pursuing her doctoral degree from Barry University and is the chairperson of her own NGO – Shuchona Foundation – a not-for-profit advocacy, research and capacity-building organization based in Dhaka.