Rasha Kelej

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Rasha Kelej
رشا كلج
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BornFebruary 1972 (age 52)
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy
  • MBA
Alma mater
  • Alexandria University
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Speaker
  • Author
  • Women activist
OrganizationMerck Foundation
Known forMerck More Than a Mother

Rasha Kelej (Arabic: رشا كلج, born February 1972) is a women activist, speaker, and co-author of two books. She is the chief executive officer of Merck Foundation,[1] a philanthropic organization founded in 2017 by Merck Group, and president of Merck More Than a Mother. Rasha has been a member of the African Union’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOC).[2] and was named as one of the '100 most influential Africans of 2019' by the New African magazine.[3]

Early life

Born in Egypt in February 1972, Rasha attended secondary school in Egypt. She received her bachelor's degree from Alexandria University, Egypt, and a master's in business administration (MBA) from Robert Gordon University, majoring in corporate social responsibility.[1][2][4]


Rasha joined Merck in 1996 and held several leadership roles, including serving as a chief social officer, head of the global social responsibility & market development, and senior vice president of Merck Healthcare from 2013 until June 2017[5].

In June 2017, she was appointed chief executive officer of Merck Foundation and became the first Egyptian and African woman to hold this position.[6]

Rasha has created many programs, including Merck More Than A Mother, Merck Cancer Access Program, Merck Capacity Advancement Program,[7][8]focusing on addressing the de-stigmatization of Infertile Women, improving access to health, and empowering women and girls in education in Africa and developing countries.[9][10]

Awards and recognition

Rasha has been accorded numerous accolades from African Governments & First Ladies as well as from the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International). In December 2019, African Magazine included her in their 100 Most Influential Africans list.[11] She was also honored with the Women Empowerment Award in Spain.[12][13]


  • Towards Women Empowerment in Scientific Research in Africa, African Union Scientific
  • A reflection on Public-Private Partnerships’ contribution to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals

In the media



  1. 1.0 1.1 Tayea, Hassanin (5 September 2019). ""Rasha Kelej" Leads Campaign to Correct Misconceptions in Africa". See News.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Meet Dr. Rasha Kelej, The Chief Social Officer at Merck Healthcare". Africa Science News. 24 November 2016.
  3. Jere, Regina (3 December 2019). "Who are the New African Magazine MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICANS of 2019 and why? - New African Magazine". New African.
  4. Ateba, Simon (17 September 2019). "Is Rasha Kelej of Merck Foundation who meets African leaders as a 'charity person' a western spy?". Today News Africa.
  5. "New Merck Foundation appoints Rasha Kelej". PMLive. 28 June 2017.
  6. Yasser, Ahmed (14 January 2020). "Meet Rasha Kelej… Influential Egyptian Figure Empowering Women in Africa". See News.
  7. "Dr. Rasha Kelej To Launch Merck Foundation In Liberia". Public Agenda News. 24 February 2020.
  8. Jane, reGina (21 February 2020). "DE-STIGMATISING FEMALE INFERTILITY: Dr Rasha Kelej on the Merck Foundation's "More Than A Mother"campaign". The New African Woman.
  9. "New campaign aimed at tackling infertility". NTV (Kenyan TV channel). 17 February 2017.
  10. Ikela, Selma (16 March 2020). "Erasing the stigma of infertility". New Era (Namibia).
  11. Mustafa, Nada (9 December 2019). "Rasha Kelej Named Among Top 100 Most Influential Africans". See News.
  12. "Rasha Kelej Merck's Chief Social Officer : I am proud to work for Merck". African Science News. 16 January 2017.
  13. "Dr Rasha Kelej wins praise for empowering infertile women". Fair Play Talks. 20 December 2019.

External links

This article "Rasha Kelej" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.