Dr. Senait Fisseha is a Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and the Director of International Programs at the Susan T. Buffett Foundation. Dr. Senait came from a very loving, closed knit and large family including 11 siblings. She grew up in Addis during the turmoil of the Derg regime. When the Emperor was deposed in 1974, Dr. Senait’s father suffered as a political prisoner and resultantly her mother carried the burden of taking care of a large family by herself. Despite growing up with such tragedy, Dr. Senait persists as an optimist, choosing to see the positive in every person and situation.
Dr. Senait left Ethiopia for the US in 1989, after completing high school and a few months’ stint in medical school at Addis Ababa University. She had dreamed of being a doctor long before she really knew what the profession entailed. In the US, she spent 17 good years in school preparing for her professional life. Completing undergraduate work at Rosary College in Chicago Illinois, she was then chosen for a coveted spot in a combined Medical and Law degree six-year track at Southern Illinois University. This she completed graduating with Honors and inducted to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) honor society – an honor reserved only to the top medical students in the US selected not only for their high academic standing, but as well for leadership among their peers, professionalism and a firm sense of ethics, promise of future success in medicine, and a commitment to service in the school and community.
Subsequent awareness of the death of 1 out of three women due to unsafe abortion, would later inform her decision to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology, completing a residency in the field with a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the University of Michigan.
In 2015, Dr. Senait accepted a job to be the Director of the International Program at the Susan Buffett Foundation, one of the largest US Foundations, dedicated to serve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls all over the world. A mother of four, Dr. Senait credits her husband for his unending support.
Through a US Government (NIG/CDC), non-government agencies and foundations grant to develop a global health research and training collaboration in Ethiopia, Dr. Senait has been leading the University of Michigan-Ethiopia Collaborative Platform for Global Health since its inception. She is also the founding Executive Director of the Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT), a new center at the University of Michigan established with a $25,000,000 grant to advance global reproductive health pre-service training in academic institutions within Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, regions with the highest burden of maternal mortality.The establishment of the Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIHRT) is one of the most significant achievements of Dr. Senait. She founded CIHRT in 2014.
Source : “Biography of Senait Fisseha “ http://www.awib.org.et/