Rahel Nardos, MD, MCR

Director, Global Women’s Health

Portrait of Rahel Nardos

United States

Based in Minneapolis, MN, USA

Rahel Nardos was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She received a scholarship to attend Franklin and Marshall college where she earned her BS in Biopsychology. A Yale School of Medicine graduate, she completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Following her residency, Dr. Nardos spent one year as staff surgeon at the Addis Ababa Hamlin Fistula Hospital and its multiple satellite medical centers in Ethiopia where served women with childbirth injuries. She then returned to the United States and completed her fellowship training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, as well as her master’s degree in clinical research at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

Following her training, Dr. Nardos served as the Division head of Urogynecology at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and Director of Global Health in OBGYN at OHSU. She was recognized for her clinical work and leadership as the 2018 recipient of the Kaiser Permanente Distinguished Physician Award. At OHSU, she founded Footsteps to Healing, a global women’s health initiative which provided  team based surgical services to rural Ethiopian women with severe pelvic floor disorders. This project grew into collaboration with academic healthcare institutions and NGOs in Ethiopia to build health systems particularly in the area of surgical and critical care services, quality improvement and leadership.

In 2015, Dr. Nardos joined the board of Worldwide Fistula Foundation (WFF) where she has been serving in various leadership roles to support various women’s healthcare partnerships in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Niger and Burkina Faso. WFF partners with local women’s health champions and organizations to support their effort to prevent childbirth injuries and to restore the health of those vulnerable women who bear the burden of preventable childbirth injuries.  

As part of her leadership role, Dr Nardos has been involved in the creation and ongoing support of the first formal Urogynecology Fellowship program in Ethiopia in partnership with Ethiopian Ministry of Health, Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, Mekelle University, Hamlin Fistula USA, Worldwide Fistula Fund and OHSU Footsteps to Healing.

In 2020, Dr Nardos co-founded and currently serves as the vice chair of Permanente Global, a new NGO based in Portland Oregon, created to harness the global health passion and expertise of healthcare providers and leaders to support healthcare partners in low resource countries.

Dr. Nardos joined University of Minnesota in August 2020 as associate professor in the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive surgery and as Director of Global Women’s Health within the Center of Global Health and Social Responsibility. In her new role, Dr Nardos hopes to support deep global and local partnerships that elevate the health of women in underserved communities through interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations that strengthen health systems through education, research, clinical care and community outreach.

The meaningful difference she aspires to make is to leverage her unique worldview and life experience as an immigrant to serve as a human bridge, and to harness the collective wisdom and passion of our community so that quality and affordable healthcare is accessible to every woman, irrespective of the lottery of her birthplace.