Humanitarian, Community Development Strategist, Gubernatorial Candidate
Umra Omar is from Pate Island in Kenya’s Lamu Archipelago. After completing graduate school in the United States and working in Washington, DC, Ms. Omar returned to Kenya in 2010. She later learned about a life-saving medical aid project in Lamu that had been abandoned because of security concerns, which sparked her work in navigating rural health realities on the frontlines of development.
In 2015, Ms. Omar launched Safari Doctors, a community-based social enterprise founded on the belief that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. Through the organization, she provides innovative, community-driven healthcare solutions for marginalized populations, currently reaching over 2,000 patients monthly across 24 remote villages.
In 2016, she was selected as a CNN Hero for her work. In 2017, Ms. Omar won an Africa Leaders 4 Change award, featured in Business Daily’s Top40Under40 Women list, and won the United Nations in Kenya Person of The Year award. In 2019, Ms. Omar was among three finalists for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award. She is a 2019-2020 Aurora Forum Goodwill Ambassador and a 2019-2023 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She is also part of the Western Indian Ocean Conservation Leadership Initiative, is a Segal Family Foundation Africa Visionary Fellow, and was recognized as a Real Life Hero by the United Nations during the 2020 World Humanitarian Day and most recently as Kenyan National Hero on National Heroes’ Day in October 2020.
Ms. Omar is a candidate in the 2022 Lamu gubernatorial race.