As a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, Jude Alawa ’19 will pursue an M.D. at Stanford School of Medicine

Jackson alum Jude Alawa ’19 is among the 76 international students named as 2020 Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

This year’s Knight-Hennessy Scholars will pursue degrees in 39 graduate programs at Stanford University. The scholarship program cultivates a diverse multidisciplinary community of emerging leaders from around the world and guides them to collaborate, innovate, and communicate as they prepare to address the complex challenges facing society.

“Their intellectual ability, diversity of backgrounds and experiences, and commitment to a better world give me much hope in this challenging time, as the world faces its first true pandemic in 100 years,” said John L. Hennessy, president emeritus of Stanford University and the Shriram Family Director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

The three Yale affiliates were chosen from 6,171 applicants. The primary criteria used to evaluate applicants were “independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and a civic mindset,” according to the announcement naming this year’s scholars.

Alawa, who is originally from Damascus, Syria, will pursue an M.D. at Stanford School of Medicine. He majored in MCDB and global affairs at Yale, and earned a master’s in public health from the University of Cambridge. He has led several projects to improve chronic disease for refugees in Lebanon and Turkey, and founded an organization that provides water-purification devices to Syrian refugee camps. He has worked for the National Health Service, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Pharos Global Health Advisers. The recipient of Yale’s James Andrew Haas Prize in 2019, he was also awarded a Fox Fellowship, a Rotary Scholarship, and a Coca-Cola Scholarship. He aspires to use his experience treating patients to inform community-based interventions and policy reform that can improve access to quality health services for marginalized communities.

Hennessy, who served as Stanford’s president from 2000 to 2016, established the Knight-Hennessy Program in 2016 with the largest individual cash gift ever made to the school. The program is also named for Stanford alumnus Phil Knight M.B.A. ’62, a business leader, philanthropist, and co-founder of Nike, Inc., who also contributed to the scholarship’s endowment. More information about the scholarship is available on the program’s website.

Read about the other Yale affiliates who were named to the 2020 program