Edna Ismail is the Founder and Director of the Edna Adan University Hospital and Chancellor of Edna Adan University in Hargeisa, Somaliland. She is a nurse and midwife by training, and began her professional studies in London in 1954 and has been active in the healthcare field ever since. As the first Somali woman to become qualified as a nurse-midwife, Edna began training nurses and midwives in Somaliland in 1961. Edna began a long career with the World Health Organization in 1965 and subsequently held the positions of Regional Nursing and Midwifery Advisor, Technical Officer for Maternal and Child Health, and WHO Representative to the country of before retiring in 1997.
Edna Adan Ismail also served as Somaliland’s Minister of Family Welfare and Social Development and held office as Foreign Minister from 2003 until 2006. Edna is an activist for Human Rights and Gender issues having pioneered the campaign against FGM in Somaliland and internationally since 1976.