HE Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim
Dr Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim is a Mauritian politician and biodiversity scientist who served as the 6th
President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018.
Dr Gurib-Fakim was the Managing Director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique
(CIDP) Research and Innovation as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed chair at the
University of Mauritius. Since 2001, she has served successively as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Pro
Vice Chancellor (2004- 2010). She has also worked at the Mauritius Research Council as Manager for
Ms Gurib-Fakim earned a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey (1983) and a PhD from the University
of Exeter, UK (1987). During her academic journey, she has participated in several consultation meetings on
environmental issues organized by international organizations. Between 2011-2013, she was elected and
served as Chairperson of the International Council for Scientific Union – Regional Office for Africa, and
served as an Independent Director on the Board of Barclays Bank of Mauritius Ltd between (2012-2015).
As a Founding Member of the Pan African Association of African Medicinal Plants, she co-authored the first
ever African Herbal Pharmacopoeia. She has authored and co-edited 28 books, several book chapters and
scientific articles in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. She has lectured
extensively across the world; is a Member of the Editorial Boards of major journals, has served on Technical
and national committees in various capacities. Elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key
by the Government of Mauritius in 2008, she has been admitted to the Order of the Chevalier dans L’Ordre
des Palmes Academiques by the Government of France in 2010
Elected Fellow of several academies and societies, Ms Gurib-Fakim received several international prizes
including the 2007 l’Oreal-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science, the African Union Commission Award for
Women in Science, 2009.
In 2015, she was sworn in as the 6th President and the First Female President of the Republic of Mauritius.
She was elevated to the Order of GCSK by the Government of Mauritius, admitted to the Order of Francois
1er des Deux Siciles by Prince Charles of Bourbon and received the Legion d’Honneur from the Government
of France in 2016. In 2017, she received both the lifelong achievement award of the United States
Pharmacopoeia-CePat Award and the American Botanical Council Norman Farnsworth Excellence in
Botanical Research Award. In 2018, she received the Order of St George at the Semperopernball, Dresden,
Germany and the Global Energy Parliament Award, State of Kerala, India.
In 2016, she was in the Forbes List for the 100 ‘Most Powerful women in the world’ and 1st among the Top 100
Women in Africa Forbes List 2017. She is honoured as one of Foreign Policy’s 2015 Global Thinkers.