Campus Messages

An archive of email messages sent to the entire UCSF community by the Chancellor and members of the Chancellor's Cabinet.

Afghan Scholars to Join UCSF

Dear UCSF Community,

As the humanitarian crisis worsens in Afghanistan, UCSF is working to bring Afghan scholars to our campus to support their education in the health sciences. I am pleased to share with you that we have identified two scholars and are now coordinating with other groups to secure their safe passage out of Afghanistan. 

Two Afghan Scholars Admitted to UCSF Programs

The first scholar is a physician with a master’s degree in public health who has earned one of the competitive slots in the PhD program in Global Health Sciences. Their research interests involve strengthening health systems and improving health for women and minority populations. The second scholar has been admitted to the master’s degree program in Global Health Sciences. This scholar graduated from a medical university in Afghanistan and has a research focus on reproductive health for women in Afghanistan.

We are hopeful that we will be successful in helping these scholars safely leave Afghanistan and arrive at UCSF. As we launch this program, we are coordinating with the national Scholars at Risk Network, including the UC-wide chapter, to identify other Afghan scholars whose skills and academic interests may be served by UCSF’s unique focus on the health sciences.

How to Support the Afghan Scholars Program

I am proud of the efforts of so many at UCSF working to bring over Afghan scholars at risk. The UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences and the UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative have made preparations to accommodate Afghan scholars at UCSF, train them, and support their time with us. UCSF also is working with local and legal organizations to provide additional support for Afghan scholars coming to Northern California and the Bay Area.

To support these scholars with a successful transition at UCSF, we are raising funds for their tuition, room and board, and legal expenses. If you have the means and would like to learn about how you can support them, visit for more information.

Special Panel: Passage, from Kabul to the Bay

If you would like to hear perspectives about what is unfolding in Afghanistan, I invite you to attend a special panel on September 16 featuring UCSF faculty and local Afghan support groups. Additional information and registration link are available online.

We often describe our public mission as advancing health worldwide. This commitment has taken on special meaning in recent weeks as we prepare to welcome the Afghan scholars to UCSF. We will have as much to learn from our new colleagues as we will have to share with them.

Finally, as the country prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I hope you are able to find a quiet moment to honor the lives lost on that day, as well as the lives that were forever changed with their passing.


Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor