By Goth Mohamed Goth

Ms. Ismail is receiving an honorary Doctor of Sciences  this according to Vice President and Secretary of the University Leslie Laird Kruhly who has announced the 2014 honorary degree recipients and the Commencement Speaker for the University of Pennsylvania. The Office of the University Secretary manages the honorary degree selection process and University Commencement.

The 258th Commencement ceremony will be streamed live over the Internet.

For University of Pennsylvania Commencement information, including historical information about the ceremony, academic regalia, prior speakers and honorary degree recipients see

Eugenio Calabi – Doctor of Sciences
Thomas A. Scott Professor of Mathematics Emeritus,University of Pennsylvania

Johnnetta Betsch Cole – Doctor of Humane Letters
Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; Former President, Spelman College

Edna Adan Ismail – Doctor of Sciences
Director and Founder, Edna Adan Maternity Hospital; Founder, Edna Adan University, Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland

John Legend, C’99 – Doctor of Music
Grammy-award winning songwriter and musician; Founder, Show Me Campaign

Raymond G. Perelman, W’40 – Doctor of Laws
CEO, RGP Holdings; Trustee, Raymond and Ruth Perelman Education Foundation

Olympia J. Snowe – Doctor of Laws
Former United States Senator; Chairman and CEO, Olympia Snowe LLC

George A. Weiss, WG’65 – Doctor of Laws
CEO, Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers LLC; Founder and Chairman, Say Yes to Education Foundation


Edna Adan Ismail
In 1961, Edna Adan Ismail became Somaliland and Somalia’s first qualified nurse/midwife when she returned to her homeland after training in the United Kingdom. Her career has been dedicated to improving health conditions, reducing the rates of maternal and infant mortality and providing health care for thousands of women and children. Through the years, she has served in many roles for the World Health Organization, as a nurse/midwife educator, an advisor for issues relating to maternal and child health, including gender issues and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, and as the WHO representative in the Republic of Djibouti where she served until her retirement in 1997. Upon her retirement, she personally funded, built, and opened in 2002 the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somaliland. The hospital is a major referral hospital as well as a teaching hospital for nurses, midwives and other health professionals, including medical students and anaesthesia technicians. Ms. Ismail became the first and only woman Minister in the government of Somaliland when she assumed the role of Minister of Social Affairs in 2002, and from 2003 to 2006, she served as Somaliland’s Foreign Minister. In 2012, Ms. Ismail opened the Edna Adan University which trains nurses, midwives, laboratory technicians, pharmacists and public health students. Ms. Ismail has received numerous awards, including several honorary degrees, and is an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University, School of Nursing in Wales.  In 2010, Ms. Ismail was knighted ‘Chevalier dans l’ordre Nationale de la Legion d’Honneur’ by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and was also awarded the President’s Gold Medal from the University of Pretoria, South Africa for her humanitarian efforts. Ms. Ismail was inducted into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame in 2007.

Ms. Ismail is receiving an honorary Doctor of Sciences.


  1. Congratulation Dr. Edna Adan! No, somali anywhere deserve this award more than you.
    May Allah bless your soul and those of Somaliland people.Amen!

  2. Congrats to the great lady, Ms. Edna Ismail.. She isn't only got it through honorary. She earned it 100s of times over.

  3. Dr Adna Ismail Aden deserves this honorary degree is an outstanding legend of
    her generation. congrats.