The Muslim Journal Newswire

The Muslim Journal congratulates Sis. Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur on her appointment at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. May Allah (swt) bless her in this endeavor. 

This Foundation works with partners worldwide to tackle critical problems in five key program areas: Global Health, Global Development, Global Growth and Opportunity, Global Policy and Advocacy and U.S. Program. 

Susan Byrnes, Chief Communications Officer, for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, issued the following announcement of her new role:

“I’m thrilled to share the news that Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur will join the Communications division as Director, Chief of Staff in my office.

“Saleemah joins us as an accomplished leader with extensive experience in global policy, advocacy, and communications. Most recently, Saleemah served as the founding Director of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) – one of our key advocacy partners), which comprises every sitting African head of state and government. 

“ALMA developed a diplomatic apparatus based on accountability to generate African-owned and African-led ways to accelerate malaria elimination and improve health outcomes for women and children. 

“In this role, Saleemah functioned as a combined chief of staff and chief communications officer.

“I had the great pleasure of collaborating with Saleemah when I was at Malaria No More, and she was designing and leading strategic communications for ALMA. Her work focused on keeping malaria elimination high on the global agenda, amplifying the voices of African leaders on progress toward health targets. 

“This included a people-centered approach to telling stories, resulting in extensive coverage in print and digital media across six continents. 

“Additionally, Saleemah played a key role as Director for the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria.” 

Saleemah has also been advising African heads of state on the End Malaria Council (EMC) which is co-chaired by Bill and Ray Chambers. This includes briefing leaders on key trends and new data and policy related to the global malaria burden, and presenting strategic opportunities to expand access to lifesaving commodities.

Previously, she was an Associate Director of Corporate Volunteerism at Hands on Atlanta, and has served as a consultant to non-profits and governmental organizations on projects focused on alleviating poverty through interfaith dialogue and action programs. 

Saleemah is also a community leader with a strong commitment to and passion for civic engagement through activism, volunteerism, and advocating for gender equality in Muslim communities in the U.S. and abroad. 

In her free time, she is a writer and speaker who chairs a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to boost civic engagement in the American Muslim Community.

 The group is currently working on voter registration and getting out the vote in upcoming local, state, and national elections. Saleemah talks about this effort in a TEDx talk she gave last spring. 

She started in her new role on Sept. 14 and will be relocating to Seattle from Atlanta, where she will join the Gates’ leadership team as well as the Communications Extended Leadership Team (XLT).

Susan Byrnes stated, “We look forward to officially welcoming Saleemah to the team!” 

For more information on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, visit

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