New associate dean for religious life named
Sughra Ahmed, the new associate dean for religious life at Stanford, is a Muslim chaplain who brings extensive experience on university campuses and in interfaith work to her new role.
Sughra Ahmed, a Muslim chaplain who most recently served as a Greenberg World Fellow at Yale University, has been named associate dean for religious life by Jane Shaw, dean for religious life and professor of religious studies.
Ahmed, who has served as president of the Islamic Society of Britain and was named Muslim Woman of the Year in the United Kingdom in 2014, will join the campus community in autumn quarter.
“I look forward to welcoming Sughra Ahmed as associate dean at Stanford,” said Provost Persis Drell. “Her experience will not only provide critical support to our Muslim community, but she will also help all of us in the Stanford community develop a broader understanding of the Islamic faith, particularly at this time. Her appointment continues Stanford’s commitment to embracing many spiritual traditions within the Office for Religious Life and our campus community.”
Ahmed trained at the Markfield Institute as a chaplain, where she also received a Diploma in Islamic Jurisprudence. She has extensive experience in university chaplaincy, first at De Montfort University in England and then in interfaith work across England and at the University of Cambridge. She earned her undergraduate degree at Birmingham City University, where she studied English language and literature, and her Master of Arts degree in Islamic studies from Loughborough University. She is fluent in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.
“I’m thrilled to be joining colleagues at Stanford and to be making a contribution in supporting, directing and nurturing students and staff, wherever needed,” she said. “I’m thoroughly excited at the prospect of building relations, strengthening alliances and creating new opportunities as associate dean for religious life.”
Ahmed has served as a senior programs manager at the Woolf Institute in the Centre for Policy and Public Education in Cambridge, England, where she designed and delivered research and training on issues such as faith, belief, communities and integration. At the Yale Greenberg World Fellows program, she has been part of a group of 16 mid-career global leaders brought to Yale for a leadership development program that is part of the university’s Jackson Institute of Global Affairs.
“We are so delighted that Sughra Ahmed is joining our team,” said Shaw. “Her presence will extend and strengthen the work of the Office for Religious Life in so many important ways. Her distinction in public life as a prominent and respected Muslim leader, along with her extensive experience in college chaplaincy and interfaith work, make her the ideal candidate to serve in this senior role at Stanford.”
Stanford has an active Muslim community, which includes the Muslim Student Union at Stanford, a group that aims to develop an inclusive and intersectional Muslim community at the university. The university also offers The Markaz, a resource center dedicated to uplifting student voices from the diverse Muslim community at Stanford.
In the Office for Religious Life, Ahmed joins Shaw; Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann, senior associate dean for religious life; and the Rev. Joanne Sanders, associate dean for religious life.