Afaf I Meleis, PhD, DrPS(hon), FAAN
Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing

Contact Information
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Room 433 Fagin Hall
418 Curie Blvd.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4217
tel: (215) 898-8283

Dr. Afaf I. Meleis is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Professor of Nursing and Sociology, and Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. Prior to coming to Penn, she was a Professor on the faculty of nursing at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of California San Francisco for 34 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in the UK, the American Academy of Nursing, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; a member of the Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar National Advisory Committee, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center Women's Initiative Policy Advisory Council; a Trustee of the National Health Museum; a Board Member of CARE, the Institute for the Advancement of Multicultural and Minority Medicine, and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Macy Faculty Scholars program. Dr. Meleis is also President and Council General Emerita of the International Council on Women's Health Issues (ICOWHI) and currently serves as the Global Ambassador for the Girl Child Initiative of the International Council of Nurses (ICN).

Dr. Meleis' teaching focuses on structure and organization of nursing knowledge, transitions and health, and international nursing. She has mentored hundreds of students, clinicians, and researchers from Thailand, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Columbia, Korea, and Japan.

Dr. Meleis’ scholarship is focused on global health, immigrant and international health, women’s health, and on the theoretical development of the nursing discipline. She is the author of more than 175 articles in social sciences, nursing, and medical journals; over 40 chapters; 7 books; and numerous monographs and proceedings. Dr. Meleis is a sought-after keynote speaker for national and international conferences on women’s health and development, disparities in healthcare, and international health. She has been invited for visiting professorships, conduct symposia, present keynote addresses, serve on boards, to plan conferences, and consult on women’s health research and doctoral education nationally and internationally (in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, South America and North America).

• Currently Funded Grants


Dr. Meleis is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, as well as honorary doctorates and distinguished and honorary professorships around the world. Among her awards, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak presented her the Medal of Excellence for professional and scholarly achievements in 1990, and in 2000 she received the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 2007, she received four distinguished awards: an Honorary Doctorate of Medicine from the Linköping University, Sweden; the Global Citizenship Award from the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia; the Sage Award from the University of Minnesota; and The Dr. Gloria Twine Chisum Award for Distinguished Faculty at University of Pennsylvania, which is awarded for community leadership and commitment to promoting diversity. She is the first Dean at the University of Pennsylvania to receive this award. Dr. Meleis also received the 2008 Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International Distinguished Leadership Award based on her outstanding work in the global healthcare community and the Take the Lead 2009 Award from the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2010, she was inducted into the UCLA School of Nursing Hall of Fame for her work in advancing and transforming nursing science.

Dr. Meleis graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alexandria (1961), earned an MS in nursing (1964), an MA in sociology (1966) and a PhD in medical and social psychology (1968) from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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