Zainab Garba Sani

UK Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Policy and Practice

Zainab is an alumna of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and holds an M.Sc. in Health Policy from Imperial College London. Upon completing her B.Sc. in Clinical Sciences at the University of Bradford, she was introduced into the policy world through her elected role as Academic Affairs Officer. Here, she was responsible for representing and upholding students’ interests at a senior management level. More recently, Zainab was Clinical Innovation Manager at NHS England, where she was responsible for a range of programs that aim to transform healthcare through supporting the ideation, development, and adoption of innovation. In addition, she cochaired the NHS Muslim Network, acted as Partnerships Lead for TEDxNHS, and volunteered with the Muslim Scouts Fellowship.

Today, Zainab is a Senior Harkness Fellow in Health Policy and Practice. With specialist interests in AI and innovation; community engagement; diversity and inclusion; and health equity, the focus of her fellowship was in exploring how a person’s identity such as ethnicity and culture influences their perception of the use of AI in health and care. At Stanford, Zainab continues to work towards community-centered AI implementation as she strives to increase the capability of cross-disciplinary stakeholders (globally) to collectively identify and respond to population-specific enablers and barriers of AI-enabled healthcare. Her intention is to help ensure AI advances (rather than worsens) health equity by maximizing engagement in AI development, use and evaluation from diverse populations.

As a passionate advocate for equity and justice, in July 2018, Zainab was honored with a U.K. Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for her work in increasing the number of people of color registered as potential blood stem cell donors. She continues to work with charities, communities, healthcare professionals, industry, governments, and policymakers globally to improve care for sickle cell. She is a Trustee of the U.K.'s Sickle Cell Society, Chair of NHS England's Sickle Cell Transformation Patient Advisory Group, Deputy Chair of Genomics England’s Diverse Data Advisory Board and Faculty for Medscape’s Rare Disease Committee.

Zainab Garba Sani

UK Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow in Health Policy and Practice