Selwa A. F. Al-Hazzaa

MD; FRCS(ophth) | Shura Council Member | Professor of Ophthalmology | College of Medicine; Alfaisal University | King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center

Dr Al Hazzaa was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, married to Mr. Abdulla Al Obaidalla, Executive Director of University Certificates Equivalency, Ministry of Higher Education with 3 children: Meshaal – 9/90 (Medical Student Graduate), Naif – 8/91 (Business Graduate), & Hala – 9/92 (Engineer Graduate).

Dr Al Hazzaa is a Consultant of Ophthalmology since 1993 at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH & RC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia & Head of Ophthalmology since 1997 (first Saudi female doctor to hold this position), Acting Chairman of Ophthalmology since 2012, & Chairman of Ophthalmology since March 2015.

Dr Al-Hazzaa was appointed by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in January 11, 2013, among 30 women as a member to the Majlis Alshura (Saudi Parliament) in a historical move, allowing women for the first time to be part of the kingdom’s formal advisory body. 

Dr Al Hazzaa is a Professor, College of Medicine, Al-Faisal University in 2011 (first female doctor).

Dr Al Hazzaa is a Senior Clinical Scientist, in Research Centre since 2008 & Consultant in Genetics in Research Center since 2009, at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center.

Dr Al Hazzaa was an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD., U.S.A., since 2003 & was reappointed in 2006-2009 (first Saudi Female Doctor from Middle East).

In January 2007, Dr Al Hazzaa was appointed as Senior Advisor to Minister of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In 1995, Dr Al Hazzaa was “The First Saudi Female Doctor” appointed to the Medical Advisory Council, the strongest governing body of King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Dr Al Hazzaa was the first female doctor to join as a member of the Executive Board of the Saudi Ophthalmologic Society (SOS) in 1996.  In 1997, she was nominated Chairperson of Continuing Medical Education at SOS (first female doctor).  During this tenure, Dr Al Hazzaa was Chairperson (first female doctor) of Saudi Ophthalmology in 1999, 2000, & 2001 (major annual meeting of SOS & King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH).

Dr Al Hazzaa became a member of the Editorial Board of the Saudi Journal of Ophthalmology in 1997, & then became the Associate Editor in 1998-2008 (first female doctor).  She was also a member of the Editorial Board of the prestigious Ophthalmic Genetics Journal in the USA in 1997-2005.  Dr Al Hazzaa was the Assistant Editor of the Middle East Journal of Ophthalmology from 1992-1996 (first female doctor). Dr Al Hazzaa is on the Editorial Board of the Archives of Ophthalmology, since 2005, & the Chinese Journal of Ophthalmology since 2006 representing the Middle East (first Saudi Female from Middle East).

Dr Al Hazzaa was an Executive Board Member of the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology, representing Saudi Arabia (1999-2005). In addition, Dr Al Hazzaa was a member of the Ministry of Health Central Committee in Riyadh (2001) & International Faculty in the International Ocular Inflammation Society, representing the Middle East (2002).

Dr Al Hazzaa was also the President of the Woman Promotion Forum at Prince Salman Disability & Research Center in Riyadh (2002-2004); & a member of the Global Diabetic Retinopathy Task Force in the U.S.A. representing the Middle East (2002). 

Dr Al Hazzaa was elected as an Executive Member of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the highest rank in ophthalmology worldwide, being the youngest member; the first female from the Middle East, & the only female ophthalmologist from the 5 continents in 2002-2006 & reappointed in 2006-2010.

Dr Al-Hazzaa is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in Edinburgh, Engl& (1996) & Fellow of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, U.S.A. (1993).  Dr Al Hazzaa has completed a two-year Fellowship in “Retina Vascular Center,” “Hereditary Eye Center” & “Eye Pathology Laboratory” at the Wilmer Ophthalmologic Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, U.S.A. (1990-1993).  Dr Al Hazzaa has also completed a one-year Fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Walter Reed, in Washington DC, U.S.A. (1989-1990).

Dr Al-Hazzaa was the first Saudi doctor to receive the Best Research Award of the SOS in 1986, on “Corneal Ulcers after PKP” as the first research on PKP, & again in 1995 on “Ocular Sickle Cell Disease,” where the disease was categorized for the first time.  Dr Al Hazzaa was chosen as a Resident of the Year at KKESH (1986). Dr Al Hazzaa also received numerous recognition awards from KFSH & RC as well as various & numerous institutes in the Arab country.

Locally, Dr Al Hazzaa received the prestigious Gold Medal Award of the SOS from HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al-Saud, President of the SOS in 1999 (first Saudi female). Dr Al Hazzaa also received an award from Oom Al-Gura University for her medical, scientific, & humanitarian efforts in Saudi Arabia in year 2000. 

Dr Al Hazzaa was named “Arab Woman of the Year” in the field of Medicine & Community Services in 2005 from the Arab Women Studies Center in Paris, France.

Forbes International Magazine chose Dr Al Hazzaa as one of “The Most Powerful Arab Women for year 2005" & was again chosen as the "Arab Woman for year 2006".

Dr Al Hazzaa was “Honorary Guest Speaker” at the King Abdulaziz Center for Gifted in 2007, the “Honorary Guest” at the Janadriya Heritage Annual Festival in 2007; awarded Sheikh Abdulmagsood Khoja award in 2008 & Al-Muftah award for scientific contribution by HRH P. Faisal bin Khalid in 2009 & 2010.  Dr Al Hazzaa was the first “Guest of Honor” for Cultural Attaché in United Arab Emirates for 1st Creative Forum for Saudi Students in the UAE Universities in 2010. Dr Al Hazzaa was the “Honorary Guest” at “Empowering Woman”, Saudi Women of Tomorrow Forum, Orbit of Development for Empowerment Consultants (ODEC), in Jeddah in 2011. Dr A Hazzaa was also a Guest speaker in the 29th Graduating Class of 2011, “Striving for a Better Future”, in Jeddah.  Dr Al Hazzaa was an invited Guest Speaker in the International Forum on Women in Science & Technology in Muslim Countries held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2011 (first & only Saudi female). In addition, Dr Al Hazzaa was a Guest Speaker in “PROBE Forum on Women in Increasing Women’s Interest in & Participation in Politics/ Public Policy” South Carolina, USA, in 2011. Dr Al Hazzaa was a Guest Speaker in “US Saudi Business Opportunities Forum”, Atlanta, USA, in 2011. 

As for medical breakthrough; in 1993 Dr Al Hazzaa introduced the Protocol for “Retinopathy of Prematurity” & adopted according to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution’s st&ard;.  In 1994 Dr Al Hazzaa was the first to treat “Retinopathy of Prematurity” using the “Diode Laser” in the Middle East. In 1995 the first Multi-Wavelength Laser was purchased to treat diabetic retinopathy in the Middle East by Dr Al Hazzaa.  In 1997 the first Intravitreal Ganciclovir Implant (Vitrasert) for AIDS patients was performed by Dr Al Hazzaa in the Middle East. Dr Al Hazzaa was the Attending Physician to His late Majesty King Fahad bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques from 1999 - 2000. In 2000, Dr Al Hazzaa was the first to use Photodynamic Therapy to treat “Age Related Macular Degeneration” (ARMD) in the Gulf Region. In 2005, Dr Al Hazzaa was the first Physician to use Avastin (Bevizumib) for patients in Middle East. In 2006, she was the first to use Lucentis (Ranibizumab) for ARMD patients in Middle East.

Dr Al Hazzaa has organized numerous seminars on eye diseases nationally & internationally, & is a professional member of 16 international & national ophthalmic societies.  Dr Al Hazzaa is an Executive Board Member of the Saudi Committee for the Development of International Trade (CIT), of the Council of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce & Industry since 2001 & was the Executive Chair of "Friends of Saudi Arabia" in 2004-2007 lecturing in various cities in the USA, Europe, & Middle East, bridging, & promoting the image & relationships of Saudi Arabia internationally. Currently, an executive member of Saudi British Council 2012.

Dr Al Hazzaa was an official advisor to the Majlis Al Shura (Consultative Council) in 2002 & was the key factor in Majlis Al Shura Joining the Parliament in 2003.

Dr Al Hazzaa has published 63 international papers, including 7 book chapters; the most important in Duane’s International Ophthalmology, on “Genetic Eye Diseases in Saudi Arabia (first ophthalmologist), & concluded 7 book reviews.  She attended 244 symposia & presented 387 lectures in the USA, Europe & Middle East & was an invited international guest speaker in 66 lectures & an invited local speaker in 69 lectures.  Dr Al Hazzaa is currently undergoing 10 research projects & has had over 381 international & national television, radio & newspaper interviews.