Ruha Shadab

2019 Cheng Fellow

Dr. Ruha Shadab is an MPP candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and a recipient of the Public Service Fellowship. After graduating from medical school, Ruha worked as a doctor in low-income neighborhoods in Delhi, India and later moved on to work on systemic issues of healthcare. Her work in and around Delhi raised her empathy for the disadvantaged Muslim community, especially women. Having been raised in a Muslim household, she experienced, first-hand, the stereotypes and the difficulties faced by Muslims in India. However, what struck her most was the dearth of Muslim role models. The 180 million Muslim Indians are under-represented across politics and bureaucracy.

Limited leadership means that concerns of Muslims are being left out of mainstream policy discussions. As a Cheng Fellow, Ruha will work to develop a Leadership Lab for Indian Muslim Women. This Lab will provide mentorship to female graduate students to inculcate leadership skills and confidence, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of female changemakers. Ruha is a published author in some of India’s top English dailies and believes that for a community to be heard, it first needs to speak up.