Rasha Kelej

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Rasha Kelej
رشا قلج
Rasha Kelej.jpg
Kelej in 2021
Member of the Egyptian Senate
Assumed office
18 October 2020
Appointed byAbdel Fattah el-Sisi

Rasha Kelej (Arabic: رشا قلج) is an Egyptian Senator . Among the 100 appointments made by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the Senate in 2020, she will serve a five-year term.[1] Kelej has been working for women's empowerment and improved access to healthcare in African and other developing countries.[2]


Kelej was born in 1972 in Alexandria and pursued a degree in pharmacy at Alexandria University. She started working in the pharmaceutical industry in 1994 and joined Merck KGaA in 1996.[3] She was appointed as the CEO of Merck Foundation in 2016.[2]

Kelej has been behind campaigns like "More than a Mother " Campaign which helps in breaking the stigma around infertility and empowering infertile and childless women in Africa.[4][5][6] and trained fertility specialists in countries like Gambia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, Chad and Niger and the Central African Republic.[7][8] Kelej's campaign partnered with several first ladies of African countries.[3][9]

Rasha has also enabled to train many healthcare providers in many critical and underserved specialties such as oncology, diabetes, cardiovascular, respiratory, intensive care, endocrinology and sexual and reproductive heath through Merck Foundation programs.[10][11]

In 2019, Kelej was included in New African Magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential Africans.[12]


  1. ^ "List of 100 senators appointed to parliament Upper House published in official gazette - Politics - Egypt". Ahram Online. Retrieved 2021-06-25.
  2. ^ a b "Providing free scholarships to Upper Egypt doctors in the". 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  3. ^ a b "Rasha Kelej Honoured for her poignant 'More Than a Mother' Campaign". PAN AFRICAN VISIONS. 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  4. ^ "Rasha Kelej Honoured for her poignant 'More Than a Mother' Campaign". PAN AFRICAN VISIONS. 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  5. ^ ""أكثر من مجرد أم".. رشا قلج مصرية في قائمة الأكثر تأثيرا في أفريقيا". akhbarak.net. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  6. ^ "من هي رشا قلج «المصرية الأكثر تأثيرا في أفريقيا» والمشاركة بمعرض الكتاب؟ | المصري اليوم". www.almasryalyoum.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  7. ^ "Dr. Rasha Kelej on De-Stigmatising Infertility among Women". KenyaBuzz LifeStyle. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  8. ^ ""Rasha Kelej" Leads Campaign to Correct Misconceptions in Africa". 2019-09-05. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  9. ^ "«رشا قلج» بعد تعيينها بمجلس الشيوخ.. المصرية الأكثر تأثيرا في أفريقيا". دار الهلال (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  10. ^ AfricaNews (2020-12-29). "Senator Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation named among Most Influential African Woman in the world, as "African Woman of the year 2020", for the third time". Africanews. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  11. ^ Release, ANI Press (30 December 2020). "Senator Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation named among most influential African woman in the world, as "African Woman of the Year 2020", for the third time". www.business-standard.com. Retrieved 2021-09-22.
  12. ^ "بعد محمد صلاح.. "رشا قلج" المصرية الأكثر تأثيرا في أفريقيا لعام 2019". honna.elwatannews.com. Retrieved 2021-04-09.